Dora Anim, a high-profile and popular Greater Cincinnati Foundation executive, has returned to her roots – taking the helm of a startup health foundation an hour southwest in Madison, Ind.
“There are all kinds of opportunities to make a difference,” Anim told the Madison Courier community newspaper about working on a startup and becoming its first CEO and president. “I know it’s not easy but I don’t shy away from hard work.”
The transfer of ownership of Madison’s 90-bed hospital to Louisville’s major health system, Norton Healthcare, will create the multimillion-dollar new foundation. Madison is the largest city along the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Louisville, and is the county seat for Jefferson County and its 55,000 residents.
“We did an exhaustive search, and Dora stood out as a great fit for our mission and for Jefferson County,” said Darleen Connolly, chair of the new foundation. “She’s an exceptional relationship builder and collaborator, with experience in healthcare, equity and philanthropy.”
Bethany Legacy Foundation is the name of the new foundation, created by Bethany Circle of King’s Daughters and Sons, the former owners of King’s Daughters’ Health. The original hospital was founded in 1896 by a group of 12 women. In 1899 they became the Bethany Circle of the International Order of King’s Daughters and Sons, and owned the hospital for over 120 years.
The latest public data available shows that the nonprofit King’s Daughters’ had revenue of $129 million in 2019 and $137 million in 2018. It posted profits of $3.9 million in 2019 and $10.9 million in 2018.
A nearly $3 billion system with five hospitals, Norton’s takeover of the 900-employee Madison hospital gives the provider its first hospital outside of Kentucky. Norton does have joint ventures in two other smaller Indiana locations.
“This new foundation represents an unprecedented opportunity for our community,” said Connolly. “We now have the resources to make a real and lasting impact on health and wellness in Jefferson County. We knew right away, with an initiative of this scale and importance, we needed an experienced professional and visionary to lead the effort.”
Before joining GCF more than six years ago as its first and only chief operating officer, Anim was a senior vice president of programs and services at the Health Collaborative in Cincinnati. Before that, she spent nearly 12 years at the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. Anim received her undergraduate degree at Central State University, came to the University of Cincinnati on scholarship, married a Cincinnati native and never left despite her international upbringing. Originally from Ghana, Anim’s father was a diplomat who traveled a lot and was eventually stationed at UNESCO, headquartered in Paris, where she lived until she was 16 years old.
Anim began her role quietly July 5, spending the first few weeks listening and learning the needs of the community before recommending any new initiatives.
“It’s critically important for BLF to always listen and learn from the residents who live and work in Jefferson County to ensure we are focused on areas of investments that deliver the greatest impact,” she said. “We believe good health, health care, and wellness are key to a flourishing society. Our aim is a healthier Jefferson County, supported by high quality, holistic care that can be equitably accessed by all.”