Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Philanthropy as Healing Experience
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a meeting of the chairs of all the philanthropy/foundation boards across MedStar Health. These are the volunteer leaders working on behalf of each hospital and entity to build a culture of philanthropy. I was impressed by their dedication and commitment to make a difference for our patients and community through philanthropic gifts.
As one of the few physicians at the meeting, I was asked to share my perspective. Bruce Bartoo, SVP and Chief Philanthropy Officer for MedStar subsequently wrote about it in his newsletter:
Neil Weissman, president of the MedStar Health Research Institute, shared with the committee how his perspective on grateful patient philanthropy changed after having attended a philanthropy clinician education session. Dr. Weissman summarized his own transformation in perspective by stating that, like so many other clinicians, he used to believe philanthropy was about asking a patient or family member for a gift. Instead, he now recognizes that grateful patient philanthropy is about offering a gift to patients and families: the gift of an opportunity to express gratitude and find healing through a philanthropic investment.
I will admit that it was a shift in thinking for me — to understand how philanthropy can be part of the healing process for patients and their family. I encourage you to watch some of these very short videos (each are only a minute long and worth viewing in the order below):
1. Dr. Yochelson at MedStar National Rehab tells how a family looked to make a difference and bring closure when they lost their son: http://youtu.be/xxIhbhVNG0o
2. A grateful family share their motivation to give: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo_uhyN0oOo
3. Dr. Eldadah from MedStar WHC talks about how philanthropy is part of the healing process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic8_0GbYF_4
4. And last but not least, yours truly discusses the connection between philanthropy and research: http://youtu.be/TTz4ya-z4W4
If you know of a philanthropic opportunity, please contact any philanthropy officer at the MedStar hospital you are working at or contact Katie.N.Carlin@medstar.net at MHRI.