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Founded in 1969, the LMH Health Foundation has a rich history serving LMH Health and the Lawrence community. Read a few of our highlights below. 

January 17, 1921

Lawrence Memorial Hospital opens its doors at Third and Maine streets in a renovated frame house.


Elizabeth Miller Watkins funded the construction of LMH's original 50-bed building, which opened in 1929 and was the pride of the community.


LMH decides to create an endowment association as a formal way to manage donations and bequests.

Dr. Phillip Godwin, LMH chief of staff in the late 1960s, worked with KU Endowment President Dolph Simons, Sr., to start an endowment for LMH.

Oct. 22, 1969

Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association (LMHEA) was incorporated by

  • Dr. Monti Belot, an internist
  • Anne “Petey” Cerf, an involved and generous community member
  • Dr. Phillip Godwin, an anesthesiologist and family physician
  • Dr. Laurence Price, a pathologist
  • Dr. Ralph R. Reed, an internist.


LMHEA receives its first two major donations:

  • The Lawrence Women’s Club gave LMHEA its unused building and property on the northwest corner of 20th and Massachusetts streets.
  • The Combest family left LMHEA half of a 160-acre farm through a bequest.

LMHEA then sold the properties, the farm by sealed bids, and made its first award to LMH of $35,000 to buy equipment for its new hospital building.


LMHEA holds first fund drive.


LMH opens a 200-bed building.


LMHEA begins investing assets and introduces a planned-giving program.


LMHEA hosts the first annual Penny Jones Open Golf Tournament, its first and longest-running fundraising event. The tournament was named in honor of Dr. H. Penfield Jones, a long-time Lawrence physician.


LMHEA assets grow to $1 million, a long-awaited goal.


The first Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer dance raises money for women unable to afford mammograms.


LMHEA hosts the first biennial Hearts of Gold Ball and raises $65,000.


Hearts of Gold Ball raises $440,000 to build the Bob Billings Cardiac Evaluation Center, honoring the popular Lawrence developer and philanthropist who served as an LMHEA Board of Governors member board president.


LMHEA raises more than $8 million, completing its first capital campaign to support a $45 million expansion project at LMH.


Elizabeth Watkins Community Caring Awards established.


KU basketball legend Mario Chalmers cuts the ribbon to open Mario’s Closet at LMH, a specialty shop for cancer patients.


Jamie’s Wish, founded in memory of Jamie Pursley, donates $120,000 to LMHEA to improve 15 infusion rooms in the LMH Oncology Center.


Hearts of Gold ball hosts more than 600 people and raises more than $350,000 to fund second floor north medical unit renovations.


The Family Birthing Center is renamed in honor of the late Cindy Murray, longtime LMH maternity nurse and childbirth education advocate, after her husband Tom makes a major memorial donation to LMHEA.


Rock the Block – Kick Cancer replaces Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer event and raises $83,000 for mammograms and equipment, services and pharmaceuticals for cancer patients.


4th Floor Rehabilitation renovations completed with $2 million in support from LMHEA.


LMHEA contributes $1.2 million toward LMH’s cardiac catheterization lab. It is the first system of its kind to be implemented in a community hospital in the United States.


LMH rebrands and begins using the name “LMH Heath” to better represent what the organization had grown to encompass.


LMH Endowment Association formally becomes LMH Health Foundation.

LMH Health Foundation announces a record transfer of support to LMH Health, totaling $3.5 million.