The role of philanthropy at not-for-profit hospitals has never been more critical. With the increasing financial challenges and uncertainties, health care executives are expanding their philanthropic activities to provide funding for life-enhancing research, vital construction projects, unique medical technologies, critical patient programs and advanced health education.
To learn more about hospital philanthropy, Smart Business turned to Jim Normandin, president of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.
How has philanthropy supported hospitals?
Not-for-profit hospitals can benefit when concerned citizens raise funds to ensure local access to high-quality health care. Through the years, many donors continue their support, helping hospitals add the programs, services and facilities necessary to keep pace with important medical advances and innovations.
Even in these challenging times, we are witnessing a larger number of philanthropic friends making gifts based on the fundamental reason people give — to make a difference and ensure the best health care is available close to home.
Why do individuals and organizations donate?
Philanthropy elevates a life of success to a life of significance. We see so many people making that choice every day, like the children who raised $787 for cancer research through a lemonade stand and the individuals funding endowments that provide sustainability to critical patient programs and continuing medical education. Every gift we receive has a story. Recently, a grateful patient, who also is a hospital volunteer, made a philanthropic commitment for heart research so more patients in the future may benefit. Her gift combined with others allows the health care team to further impact the lives of our patients and our communities.
Every week, premature babies are saved in our world-renowned neonatal intensive care unit, patients comforted through our palliative care team, illnesses diagnosed and treated, bones mended and lives saved — thanks to the generous philanthropy of individuals, corporations and private foundations in our caring communities. We believe that all of our philanthropic friends appreciate the value of having extraordinary patient care today and in the future.
What’s been the impact at your facilities?
When Long Beach Memorial opened in 1907, it was thanks to the group of physicians and community members who each donated $200 to begin what is today the West’s second largest community hospital campus. Community philanthropists were responsible for the beginning of what is now among the nation’s largest children’s hospitals when the late Earl and Lorraine Miller’s generosity helped to build Miller Children’s in 1970. Their foundation continued with a lead gift of $5 million for the new $198 million Miller Children’s Pavilion and affiliated clinics, which opened with $25 million in new philanthropy.
The Foundation Board is appreciative of the philanthropic funds entrusted to us by our donors and grantors, which help distinguish our hospitals among the top medical institutions in the world. Memorial Medical Center Foundation also has 139 endowments that provide annual funding for patient programs, continuing medical education and clinical research as well as medical technology. We are confident that the philanthropy that has built and sustained Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s and their Centers of Excellence for over a century will indeed continue. And thanks to the commitment of our caring community, during the last five years alone, the Foundation has given our two hospitals nearly $60 million to provide that extra measure of care.
Our hospitals do their share to help our communities. In the last fiscal year, we provided more than $100 million in charity care and community benefits. We are also active in our local communities, working in partnership with March of Dimes, American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity.
How can employers help?
We appreciate that businesses continue to leverage their resources to support their communities, even in difficult times. They understand their unique position as corporate citizens in taking a proactive role to making a difference and encouraging their employees to do so as well.
Employers and their work forces help to ensure high-quality health care through many philanthropic channels — individual gifts, corporate grants, payroll deductions, in-kind gifts, fund-raising events, sponsorships, endowments and more. Many are also supplementing charitable giving with longer-term pledges as well as matching gift commitments made by their employees.
Our Foundation’s ‘Partners in Excellence,’ with more than 100 members, is a great example of how employers come together annually to support their community. These resilient business owners and executives contributed more than $1 million to fund needed equipment for both Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.
We are always grateful to our donors whose philanthropy makes a difference.
Jim Normandin is the president of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. The not-for-profit MemorialCare Health System includes Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. For additional information on excellence in health care, please visit memorialcare.org.