Hospital exec bikes 3,100 miles to help fund new facility

Steve Koch, a Chicago healthcare executive, just finished a 3,100-mile bike ride to raise funds for a new Ambulatory Care Center for Sinai Health System. The Chairman of the Board raised $313,120 from his two-month ride from Pine Valley, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla.

"Cycling for Sinai is the realization of three dreams of mine--doing something to raise money for one of the nation's best models for urban healthcare serving needy populations, riding a bicycle across America and doing this ride with my son Jacob," Koch said.

The Chicago-based hospital serves patients--many of which are uninsured or under-insured--regardless of their ability to pay, notes the Associated Press. In fact, 60 percent of Sinai's patients receive care that is paid for by the state, and 13 percent receive care that is not paid for at all, said Koch.

"Business leaders and board members in Chicago give up their time and money every day, but I do not know of any others who have dedicated two whole months out of their lives to take on a physical and mental challenge of this magnitude to support their organizations," Sinai President and CEO Alan Channing told the Chicago Jewish News. "We are very fortunate to have the leadership and support of Steve Koch," added Channing, who biked with Koch for several days.

Koch blogged regularly throughout his cross-country ride. "We have crossed seven states and one to go," he wrote as he entered Florida on Oct. 21. Individuals, groups and organizations also used the website to sign up as sponsors.

The total cost to build and equip the new 220,000-square-foot Ambulatory Care Center is estimated at more than $120 million, notes the Chicago Jewish News.

Koch's family connection to Sinai began in 1919, when his grandfather helped found the hospital, notes the AP.

For more:
- check out the Cycling for Sinai website
- read the Associated Press story
- read the Chicago Jewish News article