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      New life for Superior Health Foundation

      Officials say it's not only a new chapter but a new book for the Superior Health Foundation.

      Formerly known as the Marquette General Foundation for nearly eight years, the recent sale of Marquette General Hospital to Duke Lifepoint has given it new life. The charitable organization will keep its philanthropic ways, but a significant change is on the way.

      "We will become more of a grant-giving foundation," said Executive Director Jim LaJoie. "Before, we were more clinic, equipment-driven with Marquette General Hospital. Now we're going to be more hands-on and help programs and services across the Upper Peninsula."

      When the hospital's sale finalized just two weeks ago, the foundation received a $23 million contribution under the agreement, cutting all ties with MGH. A total of $15 million from the lump sum will be invested and used for health-related projects across the U.P. The foundation has already received numerous requests for support. At this time, it's not clear when and where those funds will be allocated.

      "We have to invest that prudently," said Dr. Mike Coyne, Vice President of Superior Health Foundation. "Over a period of time, we hope that it would grow, but that is one of the exciting things in being on the board, to do those things responsibly."

      As Superior Health Foundation grows, up to eight new members could be expected to join the foundation's board.

      "We'll be working very closely with our board on short-term, strategic planning and then having a vision about where we're going to be three to five years from now," LaJoie said.

      Officials say it will take at least six months before any charitable donations are made to allow time for transformation. As a foundation, Superior Health will still hold fundraisers and their annual campaigns to benefit area projects.