Established to assist organizations in the Cedar Valley to improve the health and wellbeing of their citizens, the Otto Schoitz Foundation was named after Waterloo philanthropist and industrialist Otto Schoitz, who donated $500,000 in honor of his late wife, Charlotte, as part of a community wide-effort to raise money to build a new hospital. That generosity was revived and vastly expanded in 2017, when the foundation awarded $1.75 million in grants to 16 organizations for community projects, the largest being $1 million for a major new initiative by Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley
In 1951, Schoitz and the community saw their goal come to fruition when Charlotte Lee Schoitz Memorial Hospital opened its doors. The hospital eventually consolidated with St. Francis Hospital in the mid-1980s and the combined hospital was renamed Covenant Medical Center.
The Otto Schoitz Foundation was created with $50 million provided by Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls and Mercy Hospital in Oelwein when these Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare facilities were gifted to Mercy Health Network in Des Moines. The foundation will provide charitable grants with revenues from the investment of that $50 million.
While the foundation is a new endeavor, its mission is one that has been carried over from the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare system. Continuing to “meet the needs of the time,” the Otto Schoitz Foundation is dedicated to improving life in the region.
The first round of grants will support a broad array of populations, programs and projects, including supporting youth mentoring and character development; assisting refugees and homeless families; upgrading child care and mental health services; preventing and responding to violence and improving learning and literacy.
And the foundation continues to uphold the Schmitz family’s commitment to local health care with a $250,000 contribution to Covenant Medical Center to renovate its emergency department to better serve behavioral health patients in a safe and secure areaShare this story.