The Buhl Regional Health Foundation is committed to improving the health and well-being of the neighbors we serve. We believe that through partnerships, education, and grant-making, we can creatively impact the quality of life in our communities.
Located in Western Pennsylvania, the Buhl Regional Health Foundation (BRHF) is a grantmaking organization committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve through education, grants, scholarships, and partnerships with local organizations. Originally formed to manage the proceeds from the sale of the former Sharon Regional Health System, we have granted over $2.7 million to non-profits focused on health and wellness since beginning grantmaking in 2017. As of 2021, we have become a private foundation, furthering our commitment to creating lasting positive impact in our communities.
*As an IRS-designated 501(c) (3) organization, we are eligible to accept tax-exempt contributions.
The mission of the Buhl Regional Health Foundation is to identify and address the diverse health care needs of the greater Sharon regional area. Among the Foundation’s primary objectives will be the promotion of collaborative partnerships and programs, capacity building, and grants which will focus on and invest in all people impacted by health-related needs.
- Do everything with integrity
- Embrace and drive change
- Build open and honest relationships through communication
- Welcome innovative approaches to health and community wellbeing
- Challenge assumptions
- Strive for meaningful change
Buhl Regional Health Foundation envisions a healthy and prosperous community, built upon collaborative efforts which address health disparities and focus on overcoming inequities.
Focus & Strategy
At the Buhl Regional Health Foundation, we’re focused on improving the health and wellness of Mercer County’s youth (birth-18 years) as a means of enhancing overall community health. Our strategy to achieve this is to offer health-focused programs, educational opportunities, grants, scholarships, and partnerships with local organizations, all of which work together to create a lasting impact on the well-being of our community.
About Us | History of the Foundation
Many years ago, this community helped create a public health facility that became the Sharon Regional Hospital and most recently, the Buhl Regional Health Foundation.
1893: Sharon & Sharpsville Charitable Hospital is Incorporated
- Sharon’s population was 7,000 when the Sharon and Sharpsville Charitable Hospital was incorporated. This hospital was created to meet the demands of community healthcare problems, some of which were caused by inadequate sanitation.
- Most local diseases stemmed from bacteria and a stagnant canal bed that cut through the center of the Shenango Valley. Diphtheria was prevalent and smallpox struck frequently. During the cold, damp winters, pneumonia and pleurisy claimed many lives. Anyone who lost weight, ran a fever and became listless was diagnosed with typhoid. No one knew that unpasteurized milk was a cause of illness. Tuberculosis was prevalent.
- The community had many surgical needs, but a kitchen table under lamplight was less than optimal.
1896: The Christian H. Buhl Hospital opens on May 5th
- The Sharon Herald called the new facility, “a cracker box of red brick.” Patients paid $5 for their room. There were 18-beds in the building.
- There was no basement under the operating room; doctors described working there was like standing on a cube of ice.
- The Valley’s first female doctor, Phoebe Brooks, was part of the Women’s Ward.
1903 – 1948: Hospital Expands to State-of-the-Art Facility
- By 1903, two 12-patient wards had been added. There were 12 private rooms, two large and two small wards. Overcrowding sometimes forced patients into sun parlors.
- Nurses lived on the third floor and worked 10-12 hour shifts before taking night classes from the medical staff.
- By 1927, the 108-bed hospital was state-of-the-art. However, those with mental illness were not admitted, and those with contagious diseases were taken to a house on the edge of town.
- Another addition was built in 1939 with the help of money raised from the community. The third floor was rebuilt and the fourth floor was replaced with a Maternity Department. In 1942, there were 1,438 babies born.
- At that time, the facilities were improved to better accommodate the demands of war workers, soldiers and their families.
1949-1988: Expansion Continues, Name Changes
- In 1949, the name “Christian H. Buhl Hospital” was changed to “Sharon General Hospital”.
- To more accurately describe the hospital’s expansion in capabilities as well as geography, the board of directors renamed Sharon General Hospital to Sharon Regional Health System (SRHS) in 1988.
2012: The Buhl Regional Health Foundation (BRHF) was formed in 2012.
- Learn more specific details about the formation of the foundation here.
- Learn more information regarding the history, the formation, and the objectives of the foundation here.
2014: The non-profit, SRHS was sold to Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) of Franklin, Tennessee.
2021: BRHF became a private foundation.
We remain committed to supporting the people of our area to achieve and maintain healthier lives. Quite simply, we wish to continue this community’s legacy of improving health and well-being through philanthropy.