Endowment for Quality and Access: Carol and Mike Rydbom
Carol Rydbom and her husband Mike describe their decision to donate to the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation as just another touchpoint in her family's long relationship with health care in Pullman.
“The relationship for me really started when I was six years old and I broke my leg,” Carol recalls. “Now, there are five generations of my family who have had this wonderful care in this family-oriented, community hospital.”
Carol, who was born at Pullman Memorial, said her father, the late Ivan Sayles, taught by example the importance of a quality hospital. In addition to serving on the Pullman city council, Sayles was a hospital commissioner, Carol said, during the '40s and '50s.
“He thought it was that important,” she said. “It was quite a commitment to serve at that time.”
Likewise, Mike explained, he and Carol, with two daughters and three grandchildren (all born at the hospital), thought it was important to help ensure quality health care for the region into the future.
“We've both had surgery at Pullman Regional. Our oldest grandson was born with complications, and the doctors and nurses basically saved his life,” Mike said.
The Rydboms contacted the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation to seek a way they, as Carol explained it, could come “full circle” and make a contribution to show both their appreciation and support.
“It’s a circle of life,” Carol said. “At this hospital, the staff works with patients of all stages of life, and treats them with such dignity, love and care.”
The hospital Foundation offers a number of ways to give back – through cash donations, appreciated assets like stocks, in-kind contributions, volunteer time, or planned giving. Mike and Carol chose the latter.
“We had a permanent life insurance policy that we've had for a number of years,” Mike said. “And they reviewed how we could give that policy to the hospital. So we did. It was a policy that we no longer needed, so it was good for everyone.” They credit Laura Child, foundation assistant director of development, with steering them painlessly through the process.
“They were just excellent to work with,” Mike said.
“I like the options and creativity in all the ways people can give,” Carol added.
The foundation is described as a vehicle to “raise, steward and distribute” funds on behalf of the hospital in an effort to make a “difference between being good and being excellent.” From their perspective, the Rydboms agreed, the hospital need only work to maintain its already excellent reputation.
“As we finalized the paperwork, I was thinking about how special Pullman Regional is,” Carol said, dismissing any notion of typical small town health care, “I realize we have a real gem here.”
Before their retirement, Mike owned an independent insurance business in Pullman for 39 years, and Carol worked for the Washington State University Foundation. They credit Pullman Regional Hospital for helping them take their good health into retirement so they can do some traveling, dote on grandchildren, and spend time at their newly finished cabin on Priest Lake in northern Idaho.