Olsrud family donates historic $12M gift to Asante women’s and children’s hospital

MEDFORD, Ore.- A massive multi-million dollar donation is helping to shape Asante’s largest project ever. The gift comes from a family that’s been giving back to the Rogue Valley for decades.

On Barnett Road in Medford, Asante’s Regional Patient Pavilion is quickly taking shape. This massive project, now receiving it’s largest donation ever: $12 million dollars.

“[It is] the largest gift in not only Asante Foundation’s history, but our region’s history,” explained Andrea Reeder, the Vice President and executive Director of the Asante Foundation. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Asante.

It comes from southern Oregon business owners and philanthropists Sherm and Wanda Olsrud. The Sherm and Wanda Olsrud Family Gift shouldn’t come as a surprise, if you look at the family’s history of giving back to the southern Oregon community.

“My parents have donated to 4H, to Kids Unlimited, to ACCESS, to the college in Ashland. And this just fit right in with everything else they have wanted to donate to,” explained their son Steve Olsrud. “My parents have always said that the southern Oregon community has been very good to them, our business, their family, our family.”

The family has been supporting Asante since 1988, ever since Sherm himself was impressed by the care he received while at the hospital. The Olsrud Family Donation pushes Asante’s massive pavilion closer to completion, but it will also continue to cement the Olsrud’s family legacy.

“It’s an ongoing thing that my parents felt very strong about. They wanted the community to have support after they were gone,” Steve Olsrud explained.

The top two floors of the new building will care specifically for women, babies, and children, and will now bear the Olsrud name, to recognize their gift.

“In honor of this gift, we will be able to recognize them by naming the women’s and children’s hospital at Asante Rogue Regional, the ‘Olsrud Family Women’s and Children’s Hospital’,” Andrea Reeder told us. “It is carrying on their tradition of supporting our community, and particularly causes that involve children.”

The Olsrud Family Gift recognizes that healthcare is vital to a strong community.

“The Asante gift is something that would carry on with the community, it will be around forever. Everybody uses the hospital at some point in their life,” Steve Olsrud said. Not only does it continue to cement the generous legacy of Sherm and Wanda Olsrud, and their service to the region, but the impact will go beyond just the Medford area.

“Asante is in a position as a referral center for a nine county region, 600,000 people. When a baby or a child needs high level care, they’re going to come to Medford, to Asante Rogue Regional for that care,” Reeder explained.  “And now they’ll be coming to the new Olsrud Women’s and Children’s Hospital.”

The pavilion is slated to be complete in 2023.

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Grace Smith
Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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