Thursday, January 29, 2009

X Marks the Spot: Philanthropy Helps Transform Health Care, One Life at a Time

Well, it’s getting on toward the end of January, and I’m sure by now you’ve made serious progress toward your 2009 resolutions…right? I’m just getting started myself – mine involve meditating (yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh, I’ll be too enlightened to care), less wine, and more sleep. But transformation takes time! And that’s what our New Year promises are all about – transformation of one kind or another.

As a fundraiser, transformation’s always on my mind. After all, that’s really what philanthropy does here at the hospital…but it’s hard to explain unless you see it in person.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time with donors getting a close-up view at some of the equipment and technology bought with donations to Martin Memorial. We saw a life saved as a patient was brought into the catheterization lab for an emergency angioplasty. We watched as a tumor appeared on a PET/CT scan that wouldn’t have otherwise been detected. We met a baby boy who was alive because of a special bed in the NICU. This is life-changing stuff!

My boss puts it this way – picture an aerial view of Martin Memorial. And then picture it with a big red X put through the things that we wouldn’t have without philanthropy. X through the heart center. No more cancer center. Bye-bye advanced diagnostic equipment and pharmacy robot.

Think about the thousands of patients and families who have used these services. Maybe someone you know? Their lives have been changed by total strangers who made gifts…and transformed the care we provide at Martin Memorial.

So as you’re thinking about your own transformation this month, remember that there are lots of ways to change lives – your own and that of others. I’ll check in from Nirvana next January to see how you’re doing.

--Kelly M. DeGregorio
Director of Development

Martin Memorial Foundation

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