About Us

Lend A Hand Up
Dakota Medical Foundation 

Dakota Medical Foundation was formed in the 1960s by pioneering physicians and community leaders with the vision to build a progressive new hospital on Fargo’s growing south side. Initial tax exempt status was granted May 26, 1962.

A new $1.8 million Dakota Hospital opened two years later with 76 beds and 11 physicians. It developed into a major referral center and became renowned for its kidney dialysis, joint replacement, open heart surgery and multiple other specialties. It was known, too, for its deeply dedicated physicians, high quality patient care and pursuit of continual innovation.
Eventually, the hospital was sold to a for-profit organization and the proceeds began the $94 million DMF endowment with a mission to impact health in our region.

Since inception, DMF has invested more than $72 million to operate health initiatives and fund strategies that strengthen the results of more than 400 nonprofits in North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Lend a Hand Up 

Lend A Hand Up works by and through others to help families in medical crisis.

Evan Krogen was an adorable toddler who loved baseball and the rodeo. He had cherub cheeks, baby blue eyes and a love of chicken nuggets. After he got a fever he just couldn’t shake, doctors found acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, and a young family’s life turned upside down in an instant.

“We were both in shock. You just think it’s never going to happen to you. It’s definitely life changing,” said his mom, Laura.

Evan was 2 ½ at his diagnosis. He spent the next three years fighting for his life.

“The treatment was nasty and lasted a long time,” said Evan’s dad, Mark. “One extremely bad reaction to the chemo put him in the intensive care unit and nearly killed him. He was on a ventilator and it was a terrible, terrible deal. It’s only one in a million that this specific complication happens to, but he was the one.”

Daycare provider Melanie Loeb felt helpless.

“You can’t care for these children for nine hours a day, five days a week and not feel like in some way they are a part of your own heart,” she says.  She decided to throw a fundraiser, so she sat down with the Yellow Pages and started making calls. That’s when she discovered Lend A Hand.  “I went from having a pencil and notebook, to a fully organized fundraising plan with worksheets, forms, resources and personal coaching – and matching funds.”

It was January, 2009.  Lend A Hand was beginning its second year of providing help and hope to families facing medical crisis. Now in its 11th year, Lend A Hand Up and caring community members have raised $13.5 million, helping more than 445 local families.  Evan Krogen is a healthy 5th grader who loves reading, math, science and sports.  Although he still suffers headaches as a complication from cancer treatment, he doesn’t let it stop him from school or playing or anything else.

Now as Lend A Hand Up, the program offers a new website, lendahandup.org, with boost funding for online fundraising campaigns – with or without a benefit.  Individuals have an opportunity to leave a message with their gift and to learn more about how they can plan their own fundraising effort and/or become a part of the Lend A Hand Up Booster Club to help their entire community.

“As we venture into a new decade of raising help and hope for individuals facing tough medical challenges, we plan to help more families through Lend A Hand Up’s innovative giving strategies.  By providing structured, trustworthy and comfortable giving options – and then maximizing the impact of generosity – we are able to offer a caring hand up to people we care about…. when life matters most,” says Jeana Peinovich, Lend A Hand Up Director.

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