The Rural Hospitals Program: The Commonwealth Fund, 1927

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


In the mid-1920s, the Commonwealth Fund decided it could do no greater service than to meet the need for hospitals for rural communities and for areas in which the black population predominated. The first Commonwealth hospital was a pilot endeavor; if it succeeded, the Fund would establish a Division of Rural Hospitals, which would erect one or two fifty-bed hospitals a year. The Fund chose to leverage its grants by requiring communities to raise one third of the construction costs and to defray all future hospital expenses—similar to what Andrew Carnegie required in the construction of the libraries he financed. Furthermore, each hospital must provide care without considering race, color, creed, or economic status. . . .



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