$200-million campaign kicks off
More than halfway toward its $200-million fundraising goal, BWH staged a gala celebration Sunday evening, heralding the public phase of Great Medicine in the Making: The Campaign for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Nearly 250 supporters, caregivers and leaders stepped out for the event, hosted by BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, and Michael Zinner, MD, chairman, Surgery, who co-chairs the campaign with Trustee Gretchen Fish.
Many institutions mark with fanfare the halfway point in a major fundraising initiative. Against a backdrop of video screens showcasing testimonials by hospital supporters and staff, Zinner described the BWH campaign’s “exciting momentum.” Now is the time, he said, for the hospital to “go public” with its funding needs and inspirational vision of medicine’s future.
For 170 years, BWH and its illustrious predecessor institutions have driven a steady stream of advances in patient care, research, physician teaching and community service. The Great Medicine campaign, unprecedented in BWH history, will continue that legacy by setting these goals for 2005:
- $90 million for research;
- $60 million for new facilities and equipment;
- $25 million for community health;
- $15 million for cross-disciplinary physician training;
- $10 million to recruit and retain top physicians and researchers.
(Included in the totals is a $25 million goal for women’s health)
Zinner thanked Brigham and Women’s extended “family” for philanthropy that has dramatically impacted patients’ lives. He invited the event’s co-chairs to share personal stories about their relationship to the hospital, introducing Michele Kessler, whose husband, Howard, is a trustee; trustee Beth Martignetti and her husband, Carmine; and trustee Jerry Schuster and his wife, Elaine.
Jerry Schuster pointed to himself as living proof of BWH doctors’ and surgeons’ expertise. “I have tested the product,” he said, “and it is superb.”
At BWH, charity begins at home. Zinner proudly announced the creation of the Hippocrates Society, a group comprising BWH physicians who pledge at least $50,000 to the Great Medicine campaign.
Moving among his guests with microphone in hand, President Gary Gottlieb declared his new job one of the best in the world. It is an immense privilege, he said, to work not only with the hospital’s talented staff, but also its league of committed donors, most of whom are grateful patients. Gottlieb then announced that an anonymous couple had recently made a new, seven-figure, unrestricted gift to the campaign.
The evening’s overriding theme was the power of philanthropy to transform lives. Partners HealthCare System President and CEO Samuel O. Thier, MD, noted that giving “enables one to say ‘thank you’ to a caregiver or memorialize a loved one.” More importantly, he said, it “provides this great institution the opportunity to do great things by investing in innovation.”
There is great joy in giving, said both Michael Bell, Chairman of the Board, and Jack Connors Jr., Partners’ Chairman. Both know whereof they speak. The Connors family gave $5 million to BWH, naming the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health after Jack’s late mother, while Bell and his wife, Lee, have pledged $1 million to the campaign.
Fittingly, the campaign’s “kick off” event took place at 75 Francis Street. Staff members worked for months before the event to ensure its success without disrupting services to patients and their families. People from parking, building maintenance, the front desk, admitting services and other areas played central roles in the evening’s drama.
Chief of Development Joan Hadly is delighted with the campaign’s tally to date: $102 million. Speaking for everyone involved, she said, “We couldn’t be prouder of this hospital.”