Enumclaw residents among key financial contributors to St. Elizabeth Hospital

St. Elizabeth Hospital is approaching a major milestone as the capital campaign to benefit the new hospital nears its $2 million fundraising goal. The Campaign for St. Elizabeth has received contributions totaling $1.85 million from more than 460 donors.

Enumclaw's new hospital, which opened Feb. 2, is part of the Franciscan Health System.

Leading financial supporters include local physicians, as well as businesses, organizations and families in Enumclaw and other Plateau communities.

Of special note are major gifts from Dr. Ralph Zech and his wife Bette, who recently contributed an additional $200,000 to support the surgery department at St. Elizabeth. The department, which Dr. Zech helped establish at Enumclaw Regional Hospital, will be named for them in recognition of their commitment to quality medical care for the Enumclaw community. The Zechs’ contribution to the Campaign for St. Elizabeth was in addition to an earlier $100,000 gift in support of the hospital’s chapel. Their total contribution of $300,000 is the largest gift from individual donors to date.

Dr. Zech is a trustee of the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation, which he helped organize about 30 years ago. Bette Zech is a member of the St. Elizabeth Hospital board of trustees.

Proceeds from the Campaign for St. Elizabeth have been used to purchase special medical equipment, artwork and other amenities that enhance the healing environment of the $75 million, 25-bed community hospital. Other major donors include:

• The Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation, $600,000. The name of the new hospital’s emergency department honors the foundation.

• The estate of late Enumclaw/Black Diamond business leader Dwight Garrett and his wife, Doris, and family, $100,000. The circular driveway leading to the hospital’s main entrance bears the family’s name.

• Franciscan Cornerstone Club, a Franciscan employee-supported philanthropy, $100,000. The hospital’s cozy café is called the Cornerstone Café.

• Enumclaw Insurance Group (which includes Mutual of Enumclaw), $50,000. The new hospital’s main lobby is named for the local company.

• Dr. James Merrill, who practices family medicine at Enumclaw Medical Center, and his wife, Nancy, contributed $50,000. The waiting area in the hospital’s family birth center is named for them.

• Dr. Robert Gramann, who practices obstetrics and gynecology at Enumclaw Medical Center, and his wife, Vikki, contributed $50,000. Three suites in the hospital’s family birth center are named for them.

• Helen Walton, a certified nurse anesthesiologist in Enumclaw, contributed $30,000. Two suites in the family birth center are named in her honor.

• Friends and relatives of Elizabeth Crews donated $25,000 in her memory. A footbridge in the outdoor healing garden is named for her.

• Dr. Luther Frerichs, a family medicine physician at Enumclaw Medical Center, and his wife, Sarah, contributed $15,000 to support a patient’s room in the hospital’s critical care unit.

• The Clerget Family, which has historical roots in the Enumclaw community and a member of which is an honorary chief of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, donated $15,000.

• Forty-five employees at St. Elizabeth Hospital have donated a total of $208,711.

• Employees at other Franciscan Health System hospitals and medical clinics have contributed a total of $48,204.

The Campaign for St. Elizabeth began in late 2009 and continues through June 2011. To make a donation or get more information, call 253-428-8411 (1-888-814-3740 toll free) or send an e-mail to

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support we have received for the Campaign for St. Elizabeth,” said Jon Flora, president of the Franciscan Foundation. “This is a rare opportunity for donors to be forever linked with this center of life and healing that will serve the community for generations.”

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