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Meet Julie Eckardt-Cantrall, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation

Julie Eckardt-Cantrall is the new Chief Philanthropy Officer for the Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation. Her goal is to raise awareness that individual giving plays a key role in improving health care excellence.

“Awareness is the first step in fundraising,” she says. “We want people to know their personal donations to the Foundation are needed, important and appreciated. We understand that a gift of $50 may be quite a stretch for one individual, while others might choose to donate larger amounts,” she notes. “A balance of large and small gifts is essential – and each should receive equal gratitude.”

Since its founding in 1984, donors to the MTMC Foundation have had notable impact on the local community by providing resources to help assure the hospital in San Andreas and surrounding clinics keep pace with evolving technology and trends. Eckardt-Cantrall notes, “In an era when health care revenue streams are diminishing, philanthropy supports continued vital services and expansion of programs.” She joined the MTMC executive team in early December and is working with Philanthropy Development Associate Paul Mundy and the MTMC Foundation Board to support the Foundation’s mission.

Previously with the Sutter Health system in Yuba City, she has been a regional philanthropy executive for many years. Most recently, she was Executive Director of Philanthropy for Sutter Care at Home, working with families whose loved ones benefited from hospice care. “It was very rewarding work,” she explains. “For those who lose loved ones, giving back is part of the healing journey. We personalized opportunities for families to show their gratitude.”

“The MTMC Foundation actually does the same thing, providing opportunities for grateful patients and their families to support health care excellence close to home. Our focus is more than monetary donations. We welcome gifts of time, talent – and treasure. All are given from the same place in your heart.”

Eckardt-Cantrall began her health care career in marketing and communications for Sutter North Medical Foundation in Yuba City and assumed fundraising responsibilities along the way. Within a few years, a job consolidation focused her talents on Philanthropy and she moved on to larger regional responsibilities for the Sutter Medical Foundation.

Her communications experience began as an on-air reporter for Continental Cable Channel 5 in Yuba City and she moved into public relations by “talking trash” for that community’s largest waste management firm. She was the company’s government relations voice at the beginning of state mandated recycling goals.

Her move to San Andreas was an unexpected, quick transition. She explains. “It was a whirlwind once I learned of the position. I liked my old job, but recognized this is a great opportunity for me. Once I met the team here at MTMC, I was sold on it for sure and knew I wanted to take this leap.”

“Things moved fast,” she adds. “Our youngest son Alex is in the U.S. Marines and earned a slot as a Recruiting Assistant in Yuba City in order to spend extended holiday time with us. We wound up moving to Calaveras County at about the same time he arrived.”

She and her husband Michael have four children – Alex, 19, is now stationed at Cherry Point, NC; T. J., 21, and Nick 23, both live in the Sacramento area and daughter Kayla, 25, lives in Boston. Michael’s career provides him the opportunity to transfer to Calaveras County in May.

“I’m very fortunate to be at this point in my career and have enjoyed every job I’ve had, Eckardt-Cantrall notes. “I know things will be even better here.”

About the Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation

The Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation was formed in 1984 by tireless volunteers with a vision of providing resources to help the hospital keep pace with evolving technology and trends. It helps assure the facility can continue to meet its commitment to the health care needs of Calaveras County residents.

Until Mark Twain Hospital opened in 1951 health care services were limited in the county and residents traveled outside their communities for acute care. Keeping pace with health care needs over the next three decades, the hospital added more acute care beds, an ICU/CCU and expanded its Emergency Department to state-of-the-art status. Next came urgent care and rural health clinics in many county communities.

The Foundation’s early efforts focused on raising funds to install the first mammography equipment in the county and embraced the capital campaign to build a new hospital facility. The Foundation proudly contributed $1 million to that building fund and today's 48-bed facility was dedicated in September, 1997. It was the only rural hospital building project in California that year.

Since that time, the Foundation has purchased Nuclear Medicine Technology (2002); acquired a CT Scanner (2007) and Digital Mammography Technology (2009). The Foundation is currently completing a focus on raising funds for a new Family Medical Center in Angels Camp. This facility is a relocation/expansion of MTMC’s existing Family Medical Center in that community. The 9,700 square foot building will provide expanded space for Primary Care Services and Women's Health.

For complete details, call the Foundation office at 209.754.2624. It is located on the hospital campus at 768 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA.

About Mark Twain Medical Center

Founded in 1951, Mark Twain Medical Center is a 25-bed, critical access hospital providing inpatient acute care, outpatient services and emergency services. The Medical Center’s Medical Staff represents a broad range of specialties that ensure access to high quality medical care in a rural community. In addition to being a major provider of health services, Mark Twain Medical Center is also one of the area’s largest employers. More than 300 people are employed at the hospital and its five Family Medical Centers. The Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health, the fifth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation. Mark Twain Medical Center is also on Facebook. 

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