Morton Plant Mease Foundation

For more than 35 years, Morton Plant Mease Foundation has provided philanthropic support to the not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care, including Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

The close connection between the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease and their neighbors reveal a unique spirit of giving – a relationship characterized by people caring for the hospitals that care for them. Our Mission is to inspire people to improve the health of the community through their support of Morton Plant Mease Foundation. As a donor, you join us on this transformational journey. You will be affecting change within our hospitals – one patient at a time.

We begin by understanding what you want to accomplish with your philanthropy, and will then work with you to make your support meaningful. The hospitals’ needs become investment opportunities for our donors. We live our mission by inspiring donors to participate in programs that reflect their values, capture their interest, satisfy their need for recognition and promote a feeling of making a difference.

We are here to make your giving experience memorable. Seek us out and ask for our help as you consider your charitable giving options.  Let us lead a tour of a facility that interests you.  Join us for a discussion about a particular program that intrigues you.  Challenge us to create a special opportunity for you to spend time with a physician whom you admire.  The journey to the joy of giving is priceless.  It is our privilege to be your guides. 

The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease have been built on a foundation of philanthropy. Nearly a century ago, Morton F. Plant challenged the community that if it was able to raise the $20,000 necessary to build a hospital in Clearwater, he would establish a $100,000 endowment for it. The community met the goal in only two months, and the Morton F. Plant Endowed Hospital opened in 1916. Two decades later, during a time when money was tight, the Dunedin community came together to give their time, talent and treasure to help Dr. Jack Mease build the hospital that is now Mease Dunedin. More than 50 years later, Morton F. Plant and Dr. Jack Mease’s visions were expanded to Mease Countryside and Morton Plant North Bay hospitals.

It only takes one person to give birth to an idea or help fund a new project, but it takes many people to sustain initiatives over time, and even more to improve them and bring them to their greatest potential. Nationally recognized for health care excellence, today Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.

Over a decade ago, Morton Plant Mease Foundation was transformed into a granting organization to better steward our donors’ generous gifts. Over this timeframe, the community’s philanthropic support has helped us grant more than $110 million in cash to support innovative programs and capital projects at the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease. To put this in perspective, our hospitals would have had to realize more than $2 billion of incremental business to generate the amount of these grants.

Each donor has his or her own personal reason for giving. It may be an acknowledgement of gratitude for the excellent care received. It may be the strong desire to ensure that superior medical care is available to all members of the community. Your gifts are reflected in the lives of the families that we serve for a lifetime.

Before you consider making a charitable gift to Morton Plant Mease Foundation, you should know:

  • Your philanthropic gift is tax deductible as a donation to a qualified 501 (c)(3) charitable organization to the fullest extent of the law
  • As a not-for-profit health care system, any and all profits are reinvested back into your hospitals
  • In these less than certain economic times, your gift helps ensure that, regardless of who will be paying for health care, we will have something that is worth paying for in our own community
  • All funds raised by Morton Plant Mease Foundation stay right here in your own community
  • Donors have access to the Foundation’s Care Coordination Program, which provides donors and members of their families with special attention while  in our emergency departments and hospitals
  • A variety of Planned Giving opportunities are available, including gift annuities and bequests that can maximize your tax and personal financial benefits
  • Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s executive team share nearly 100 years of professional fundraising experience and hold several professional credentials, including Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • A gift to support health care is a gift that saves lives

The Foundation is a qualified charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, FEI#59-1751535 and Florida State Registration #CH321. The Foundation only grants funds to benefit the hospitals of the Morton Plant Mease Health Care system. However, we encourage and provide funding for collaborative projects between these hospitals and local not-for-profit organizations.

Morton Plant Hospital Mease Countryside Hospital Mease Dunedin Hospital Morton Plant North Bay    


From their inception both Mease and Morton Plant have been blessed with supporters who with their time, talent, energy and material resources have helped the hospitals achieve their goals.  Initially, individual fund-raising campaigns were used to meet specific targeted needs.  In time the two hospitals established formal offices charged with finding sources of continuing private sector support.

At Morton Plant, fund-raising operations were centered in the Community Relations and Development office until 1976.  In that year, the trustees appointed a board to research the idea of a permanent foundation.  A year later the Morton Plant Foundation was established, with Col. Edward Imparato as president.

David J. Rosser, the Foundation's first professional fund-raiser, assumed the post of executive director in 1978.  During the next 15 years, his creativity and drive brought the Foundation national recognition as well as a remarkable growth in total assets.  One of the Foundation's major achievements during his tenure was the establishment of the Planned Giving Department, under the direction of Marty Matula, which has become a model for healthcare foundations around the country.  After Mr. Rosser's retirement, he was followed briefly by Russell Raker III.

At Mease Hospital, although major benefactors were not numerous, the loyalty of patients and other local residents took the form of many small gifts as well as a number of large ones.  In 1977 the Mease Foundation was formed, with R.C. Alexander as executive director and with 25 civic leaders serving as its board.  In 1979 Bob Watson was named executive director, a post he would hold for 14 years until his untimely death in 1993.  He was followed by Robert V. Docherty, who held the post until 1996.

By 1994, when the partnership between Mease and Morton Plant was approved, it seemed inevitable that the two foundations would themselves be joined.  Thanks to the dedication and careful planning shown by both boards of directors, led by Mease chairman David Nelson and Morton Plant chairman Leo Merzweiler, the separate foundations of Morton Plant and Mease Hospitals merged on January 1, 1996.  In June of that year, Holly H. Duncan joined the new Morton Plant Mease Health Care Foundation, Inc., as its first president and chief executive officer. After 17 years as President and CEO, Holly retired in 2013. The Foundation's current President and CEO is Ernestine Bean, CFRE.

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