Lynn Erickson changes lives through the foundation

As a life-long resident of the Mauston area, Lynn Erickson is committed to improving the economic wellness, education, and healthy of her community. It is Lynn's personal belief that vibrant communities excel in all of these areas, and she has had the good fortune to work with groups who share that vision.

After a 30-year career in the banking industry, Lynn has been dedicating much of her retirement to the service of others. By working with groups like iLead Charter School and Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation, Lynn is looking to make community improvements that impact and inspire future generations.

Why have you chosen to support the foundation?
As a youngster, I remember going to the old hospital downtown Mauston after a bad fall. I don't remember much about that visit, but I do recall Dr. Strong's kindness and good manner. A few years after that, in the late 70s, the hospital set out on a major capital campaign called 'Project 80.' That was a success, and resulted in the relocation of the entire operation, to the medical center's current location. My husband, Kevin, and I were fortunate to benefit from the availability of the new facility when it was time to deliver our babies.

I bring up this history because it's easy to forget how things really do change and improve over time. Plus, it's very easy to take all of this for granted, especially when you enjoy good health. That brings me to the 'why.'

When I joined the Friends of the Foundation several years ago, I honestly did not know a great deal about the foundation or the hospital. What I have learned over the last three years is that the hospital has an absolutely massive impact on our community. It's truly one of several gems in our community. We all should try to understand the value and take a little time to 'polish' our gem. Although there are many wonderful hospital employees leading the charge when it comes to the foundation, it's going to take additional help from the community - both in the form of talents and treasures.

Right now, my volunteer efforts on behalf of the foundation are focused on planned giving.

Is there one foundation initiative that really stands out to you?
It's incredible to me that over the last four years, the foundation has re-invested over $177,000 into the equipment at Mile Bluff. That doesn't even account for scholarships or tuition reimbursement awards toward Nurses Helping Nurses or Carol Purvis Education Fund scholarships. I am always impressed by the hard work of Nurses Helping Nurses to support their peers. I believe the entire community benefits when we have highly-trained, compassionate staff at our hospital.

What would you say to others about the importance of supporting the foundation?
Jump in. Get involved. Give what you can. If we all give a little bit, we can do great things. You don't necessarily need to be part of a committee or make a long-term commitment in order to help. You can help simply by supporting one of the many foundation events or fundraisers. The same holds true with other community organizations - get involved to the degree that you are able. Being part of the solution beats the alternative.

What is your hope for healthcare in our community for the future?
Mile Bluff Medical Center looks totally different than it did just 30 or 35 years ago. I'm certain it will look completely different in another 30 years. Continual change is the only thing that we can really count on, especially with rapidly-changing technology. Hopefully, we can channel these changes to improve health outcomes over all.

Like most people these days, I'm very concerned about accessibility and affordability, yet, I'm hopefully that all stakeholders (consumers, providers, insurance companies, and regulators) can work together in the end.

If you'd like to give like Lynn...
You can learn more about the foundation or make a donation online. You can also call Martha at 608-847-1495 for more information.