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no. 1-0084

Crotched Mountain

Crotched Mountain offers a full range of education, clinical, rehabilitation and residential support services for children and adults with disabilities from New Hampshire, the rest of New England and New York at its rehabilitation center in Greenfield, NH and in many community locations. (Crotched Mountain website: http://www.cmf.org)

On a warm October day, the drive up the south side of Crotched Mountain is breathtaking. One passes a small lake with a summer camp that harkens back to an era when city kids were sent to ‘fresh air’ camps. The complex of buildings that forms the Crotched Mountain campus sits on a 140 acre plateau beneath the summit of the mountain. Approaching the office of Don Shumway, President of Crotched Mountain and the Crotched Mountain Foundation, this case writer had to step aside as Tessa Bell wheeled her wheelchair out of Don’s office. Tessa had come to deliver homemade cookies she had made herself, and neither Shumway nor CFO Mike Lussier seemed to mind this interruption.

In 2003, Crotched Mountain celebrated its 50th anniversary. There was much to celebrate. For 50 years, Crotched had been providing care, nurturance and rehabilitation to thousands of individuals who had gone on to live lives of dignity, health and success. Today the organization provides services to more than 2,000 people each year. And as Don Shumway explains, these individuals are “the most disabled” and “the most indigent”. These are people with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, mental retardation and autism. They are the young people that the public schools cannot handle. In its beautiful campus on a mountain top and its group homes in various communities, Crotched Mountain’s staff tries to equip these people with the life skills to cope in a hostile world.

The success that Crotched Mountain has enjoyed over the last 50 years, however, is no guarantee that it will continue to prosper or even be around in another 10 years. As Shumway and Lussier looked at the financial results for the year ended June 30, 2003, it was clear that Crotched Mountain was continuing to eat into its assets, its reserves and its endowment. (See Exhibit 1). What made these numbers even more discouraging was that during 2003, Crotched Mountain had operated at full capacity. For example, the Brain Injury Center’s occupancy (or census) had averaged very close to its 31 person capacity throughout the year, which was almost double what it had been only a couple of years ealier. Similarly census at the Children’s Hospital has increased from an average of 18 patients per day to 27.

This case was written by John H. Vogel Jr., Associate Faculty Director for Corporate Citizenship and Adjunct Professor, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Some information has been disguised or altered.

© 2005 Trustees of Dartmouth College. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact the Tuck School of Business at 603-646-3176.

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