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About Us


The mission of the Mercy Health Foundation is to live out the healing ministry of Christ with a special emphasis on those in need, by generating, stewarding and distributing funds to enhance the quality of health services, programs and other community health care initiatives.

September 20, 2016 marks the beginning of a new chapter in our coming together as a national health ministry, focusing on how we can best serve our patients, physicians and caregivers. Now more than ever, we are making meaningful, personal transformation as One Ascension community in order to serve those who count on us every day.

Ascension Mission
Rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus as healer, we commit ourselves to serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Our Catholic health ministry is dedicated to spiritually-centered, holistic care which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities. We are advocates for a compassionate and just society throughout our actions and our words.

Ascension Vision
We envision a strong, vibrant Catholic health ministry in the United States which will lead to the transformation of healthcare. We will ensure service that is committed to health and well-being for our communities and that responds to the needs of individuals throughout the life cycle. We will expand the role of the laity, in both leadership and sponsorship, to ensure a Catholic health ministry of the future.

Ascension Values
  • Service to the Poor: Generosity of spirit, especially for persons most in need
  • Reverence: Respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life
  • Integrity: Inspiring trust through personal leadership
  • Wisdom: Integrated excellence and stewardship
  • Creativity: Courageous innovation
  • Dedication: Affirming the hope and joy of our ministry

Mercy Health Foundation Board of Trustees

Bill Behlman – Chair

John Fuller – Vice Chair

Stephanie Geurts – Treasurer

Tim Moore – Secretary


Swati Ringwala

John Leschke, MD

David Romond

Jim Stahl

Rose Lang

Jennifer Gelhar, DC

Michael Foley, MD

Julie Maslowski

Tony Duff

Andrew Wilson  

Rachel Hansen  

Alicia Evensen

ex officio:
Tonya Dedering – Foundation Regional Director
Denise Parrish – Ascension Mercy Hospital Chief Administrative Officer

Mercy Health Foundation Staff

Tonya Dedering, CFRE
Regional Director of Foundations


Liz Rice-Janzen
Foundation Officer




Coree Van Thiel
Regional Grants & Research Manager



Heather Snow
Foundation Specialist



Alison Egan
Foundation Coordinator


Contact Us

Mercy Health Foundation
500 S. Oakwood Road
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3370
Phone: (920) 223-0520
Fax: (920) 223-0508


Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Our History

Mercy Medical Center Foundation was established on October 1, 1971 with a vision of working both inside the hospital and beyond its walls. The Foundation has maintained a distinguished record of helping to fund projects that carry out the Mercy Medical Center/Affinity Health System mission: "to live out the healing ministry of Christ by providing services that enhance the health and well-being of the communities we serve...especially the poor." The Foundation supports the mission by generating, stewarding and distributing charitable funds to enhance the quality of Mercy/Affinity services in the Oshkosh area. In 2000, the organization's name was changed to Mercy Health Foundation to reflect the breadth of the Foundation's work.

Mercy Health Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and a member of Ascension Health System. It has its own bylaws and is overseen by a community board whose members have a strong interest in supporting excellent and accessible local health care. Throughout the last four decades, the Foundation marshaled community support for building and facility renovation and expansion at the old Mercy on Hazel Street; then raised $4.3 million for construction of the current hospital which opened in 2000. It has also supported technology improvements as breakthroughs in medical science have opened new doors to diagnosis and treatment of pervasive conditions such as cancer, heart disease or stroke. Over the years, the Foundation has broadened its scope to also support the Affinity Medical Group clinics serving communities in the Oshkosh area and collaborate with other local nonprofit organizations to address unmet community health needs through innovative programming such as primary care and dental care for low income, uninsured and at risk community residents. The Living Healthy Community Clinic,Tri County Community Dental Clinic and the Fitness for the Physically Challenged program are just a few examples. Between 2000 and 2010, the Foundation raised and distributed over $4.5 million to Mercy, Affinity Medical Group clinics in the Oshkosh area and community health projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does Mercy Health Foundation relate to Ascension Mercy Hospital and Ascension Health System?

A. Mercy Health Foundation and Ascension Mercy Hospital are both members of Ascension Health System. The Foundation works with Mercy and Ascension leadership to identify priority health needs internally and in local communities. All projects selected for Foundation support must be approved by the Mercy Health Foundation Board of Trustees.

Q. Can I decide where my gift will go?

A. Absolutely! You may direct your gift to support Ascension Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh, a specific health program or project, a community health area of personal interest or a region-wide program or project of Ascension Health System. Foundation trustees can help you direct your giving to an area of health care that is already of special interest to you or suggest where your charitable support is most needed.

Q. I/we cannot afford a large endowment contribution. How can I/we make a smaller gift that will keep on giving?

A. You may direct a gift of any size to an existing special-use endowment fund or to the unrestricted/general endowment. You may also set up a sequence of contributions to reach the minimum required for a permanent endowment fund. When $10,000 is accumulated, you may establish a permanently named fund that will generate interest income each year to support Mercy Medical Center or other health programs that you have designated. (Read more about planned giving at www.mmcgift.org.)

Q. Can I make a gift in memory or honor of an individual?

A. Gifts made to Mercy Health Foundation in memory of or as a tribute to an individual are always welcome. When the gift is received, a thank you letter is sent to the donor and an acknowledgement letter to the honoree or appropriate family member to let them know that a gift has been made. Like all other gifts to the Foundation, memorial/tribute gifts can be directed to a specific program or project.

Q. Does Mercy Health Foundation Award Grants?

A. Yes, Mercy Health Foundation accepts grant applications from within Ascension Mercy Hospital and the AMG Clinics serving the Oshkosh area for programs, projects or equipment needs. Click here to view a list of recently funded projects.

Click here if you have additional questions about Mercy Health Foundation, Mercy Medical Center or Affinity Health System.

Giving News

Giving News Summer 2018

Giving News Spring 2018

Annual Report 2017

Giving News November 2016/December 2016

Giving News September 2016/October 2016

Giving News June 2016/July 2016

Giving News April 2016/May 2016

Giving News February 2016/March 2016

Giving News December 2015/January 2016


Currently Mercy Health Foundation only accepts internal grant requests. If you have a project that you think would be of interest to the Foundation please contact Tonya Dedering at (920) 223-0521 or tonya.dedering@ascention.org.

Mercy Health Foundation reviews and acts on internal grant applications twice a year. The deadlines for submitting grant applications are April 17 and October 17. The Grants Committee will meet in May and November and applicants may be asked to make a presentation at that time. Final decisions on grant applications will be made at Mercy Health Foundation Board meetings in January and July.

The Foundation has transitioned to a new online internal grant application form in QuickBase. Just follow the link on the main page of this website to access the form. If you are not currently a QuickBase user, contact Coree VanThiel at coree.vanthiel@ascension.org for assistance. Watch the Events section of this website for upcoming workshops on completing Mercy Health Foundation grant applications.