A generous Columbus family has provided a lead gift creating an endowment to support palliative support services through Our Hospice of South Central Indiana and Columbus Regional Health.

Ruth, Rick, Alice and Jenny Johnson have established the Johnson Family Endowment to support the palliative services program, giving a quarter of the $4 million needed for long-term sustainability for the program, said Laura Leonard, Our Hospice president.

Rick Johnson is president and CEO of Johnson Ventures, a company that recognizes innovative businesses, acquires them and builds long-term value in them. The Johnson family has a long history of philanthropy in Columbus and throughout Indiana, including donating $1 million to the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to create the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and creating the Johnson Center for Innovation and Translational Research at Indiana University.

The Johnson family, hospice officials and CRH leaders made the announcement about the most recent donation Thursday afternoon at the Our Hospice facility at 2626 E. 17th St.

Ruth Johnson, Rick Johnson’s mother, said the Johnson family has been blessed with the high quality health care in the Columbus community, saying CRH services and hospice services were accessed to help her husband Dick Johnson before his death in 2009.

The family wanted to acknowledge their appreciation of the care that Our Hospice and CRH provides to the community and to give back in an area of health care that is a missing piece in the continuum of care for local patients, she said.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.