Inspired By Excellence

CHATHAM – Chatham residents David and Gail Oppenheim have long been champions of quality healthcare on the Lower Cape. Their support of Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC) began in 2003, when they joined the late Ray Fontaine of Harwich in giving a significant gift in support of the renovation and expansion of the former Harwich Medical Center. The Center was subsequently renamed as Fontaine Medical Center, and later Fontaine Outpatient Center.

The Oppenheims, who own the Wayside Inn and the Chatham Yacht Basin, continued their investment in healthcare on the Lower Cape when they provided major financial support for CCHC’s new medical building on Route 28 in West Chatham. The building brought much-needed access to primary care and physical therapy services to that area.

Established in the long-vacant High Tide restaurant, the family donated the building to CCHC in 2014 to ensure its permanent placement in the community.

Earlier this year, a second primary care office was established in what is now known as the Oppenheim Medical Building, with a third office planned for later this year.

Now the family is demonstrating their support for CCHC again, with a $250,000 challenge gift to launch this summer’s CCHC fundraising campaign “Advancing Care. Inspiring Hope.” David Oppenheim is Lower Cape co-chair of the event, along with Jim Mulcahey.

The donation will be divided among three CCHC entities, with half going to enhance primary care at the Medical Building, one-quarter going toward more improvements in primary care, urgent care and specialty services at Fontaine Outpatient Center, and one-quarter going to the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod.

“This (gift) really is because we think so much of Cape Cod Healthcare,” David Oppenheim said. “They have consistently strived to meet their commitment to provide top quality medical services to the Cape Cod community.”

CCHC President and CEO Michael Lauf said Cape Cod Healthcare would not have been able to accomplish all that it has over the last seven or eight years without the family’s support.

“David and Gail have been major supporters of CCHC, and the Lower Cape in general, for a long period of time. They truly care about helping others in their community and are once again leading the charge to help improve three significant areas of healthcare on the Lower Cape and beyond,” he said. “We are extremely proud of our relationship with the Oppenheims and are gratified that their support will ensure that these important services remain on the Lower Cape.”

Oppenheim is a board member of the Harwich Port based group, WE CAN, which focuses on women in transition. He said the non-profit and CCHC have similar missions, which is to enhance the overall health of the Cape Community.

“WE CAN is focused on children, and making sure they have adequate food and shelter. The fact that Cape Cod Healthcare doesn’t turn anyone away, regardless of their circumstances, resonates with me,” he said. “If everything improved as quickly as Cape Cod Healthcare has, some of the non-profits on the Cape wouldn’t have as much work to do.”

The “Advancing Care. Inspiring Hope.” campaign will enable CCHC to improve even more in the coming years, according to Lauf.

“The campaign was really an opportunity for us to look at what Cape Cod Healthcare can be in not only the next three to five years, but the next quarter century,” he said.

The “Advancing Care” portion of the campaign focuses on this ongoing pursuit of excellence through upgrades to technology and facilities, so that physicians and other clinicians have the necessary tools to maintain and improve upon the foundation of excellence CCHC has built, Lauf said.

The “Inspiring Hope” portion is about “giving optimism to the community that not only are we going to treat you when you’re sick, but we’re going to help you stay well,” he said. “This campaign is about making sure that patients know they have incredible care here, and also making sure they understand that we’re their partner on their journey.”

In his challenge to the community to join him in his support of the new CCHC campaign, Oppenheim said he is appealing to individuals and businesses, alike.

“Good access to quality healthcare means lower costs and healthier employees,” he said. “It’s an investment in not just your community but your business as well.”

To join the Oppenheims in their challenge to contribute to the “Advancing Care. Inspiring Hope.” campaign, please visit www.capecodhealth.org/give-to-cchc/.

By ROBIN LORD, Cape Cod Health News

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