Exceeding Expectations

Nancy Cord didn’t know if she could do it. When she was asked to be the co-chair for St. Luke’s Wood River’s new hospital campaign, she questioned her capability of raising the $12 million needed to build our new community hospital. 

Whether she thought she could or not, she did. And actually, Nancy greatly exceeded the $12 million goal, raising more than $20 million to fund the building of what now stands as St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center.

Now more than 20 years from when Nancy first was asked to be a part of the campaign, she is thrilled with what the whole committee was able to accomplish in such a small community. “The value this community places on exceptional, high quality health care was demonstrated in how much everyone gave to make this medical center a reality,” she says.

But it wasn’t easy—it was numerous years of full-time work, volunteering and reaching out to individuals, companies and foundations. At first it was an incredible struggle; no one really thought it was going to happen so no one wanted to make the first pledge. Then Nancy and Bud Purdy, her co-chair, got their first big donation from Herbert Allen. Once that happened, everyone else began to believe the project would happen and they began giving.

Nancy was willing to get involved and be an integral part of making St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center a reality because she knew we needed better health care here in the Wood River Valley if she and her husband, Charlie, were going to grow old here. She also knew if that was the case for them, it was true for many other locals. 

As a result of a ski accident, Nancy experienced a week-long hospital stay back when Moritz was our community hospital. “While the care was terrific, the hospital was very outdated,” she says. “We knew if we were going to stay here, we had to have a better, updated medical facility.” 

Exceeding Expectations

Just last year, Nancy had the opportunity to experience the change in medical care as she had her first surgery (knee replacement) and hospital stay in the facility she worked so hard to get built. When asked about her hospital experience, Nancy recalls, “I loved it; it was heaven. The rooms were beautiful, Dr. Kopplin was wonderful and the nursing care was amazing.” As for her new knee, she says, “It’s perfect. I can ski on it and there’s no pain!”

In 2004, St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation created the Nancy Cord Vision of Philanthropy Award in Nancy’s honor and presented her with the first award. The Nancy Cord Vision of Philanthropy Award provides unique recognition for the considerable achievements of a philanthropic leader. 

The characteristics of leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism that the award recognizes are exemplified in Nancy and her dedication and commitment to our community. Throughout her life, she has been involved in enhancing the lives of others in various communities through her volunteer and leadership roles in non-profit and church organizations.

“It was totally overwhelming,” Nancy says about receiving the inaugural award named in her honor. And the year after receiving the Vision of Philanthropy Award, Nancy was named Woman of the Year in the Wood River Valley, a recognition she didn’t even know existed. “It was simply the icing on the cake,” she says. “It was a true honor to be recognized.”

When asked how she did it, how she got such a small community to give so much, Nancy states, “I refused to give up. I was determined it was going to be a success.” And St. Luke’s Wood River is just that—a success beyond Nancy’s expectations.

“Nothing makes me happier than to read about the wonderful experiences people have at St. Luke’s Wood River. It makes the years of hard work completely worth it!”