Friday, February 23, 2018

Honoring a Staunch Supporter of GBMC

On Monday, we held a dedication ceremony to officially rename the Physicians Pavilion North (PPN) to the William E. Kahlert Physicians Pavilion North. The naming was made possible by The Kahlert Foundation’s $5 million pledge during GBMC’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The Kahlert family has become part of the GBMC family and has been supporting us for the past 18 years. Bill and Yvonne were both GBMC patients and began giving to our healthcare system in gratitude for the care they received.During Bill’s battle with cancer, he developed a strong relationship with Dr. Ronald Tutrone and later with Dr. Paul Celano. Bill and Yvonne first supported GBMC HealthCare in the year 2000, four years before Bill developed a relationship with Dr. Tutrone, with a $250,000 to name the William E. Kahlert Cystoscopy Suite. This gift was soon followed by a $500,000 gift to secure the daVinci Surgical System that allowed GBMC to provide robotic urologic surgery. Three years after that, Bill personally made the bold step to endow a Urologic Research Fund to support research efforts under the direction of Dr. Tutrone. The Kahlerts also endowed the William E. Kahlert GBMC Chair in Urological Research which was the first of its kind at GBMC and has inspired a host of others to honor physicians and the great care they provide.

In 2009, to demonstrate his gratitude to Dr. Celano and the oncology team who cared for him as his cancer battle continued, Bill established a fund to promote multi-disciplinary medical research, which has helped GBMC to increase enrollment in oncology clinical trials by 25%.

Bill and Yvonne’s son Greg and his wife, Roberta, as well as their children, Heather and Scott, have continued the family’s support of GBMC. In 2014, The Kahlert Foundation gave $1 million to name our chapel in honor of Yvonne and to fund a second chaplain position. With the latest $5 million gift, their family and the family foundation have donated more than $13 million to our system!

Please go see the beautiful plaque and inscription in the Kahlert Pavilion lobby and the wonderful new signage on the exterior of the building.

I was honored to help commemorate Bill’s life through this dedication and we at GBMC are extremely grateful for the ongoing gifts from The Kahlert Foundation. We applaud Greg, Roberta, Scott, and Heather for continuing their family’s support of our work in the community.

Vanta Brewster
Celebrating Dr. King!
Yesterday, we hosted our annual Black History Month celebration. This year’s program, titled Black History Month and Spirit of King Awards Celebration, started off with a keynote presentation by Patrice Sanders, co-anchor of WBFF-TV’s weekday morning newscast, along with live music from the Dunbar High School Jazz Band. The winner of the inaugural Spirit of King award was Vanta Brewster. Congratulations Vanta and to all the nominees!

I am grateful to Jennifer Maraña, our Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and all of my colleagues on the Diversity and Inclusion Council for hosting this event and helping to bring us closer together. Thanks also go out to members of the Dunbar High School Jazz Band and our Black History Month committee that put together the outstanding celebration.

Random Acts of Kindness…
Last week, we celebrated “Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week” and this year, more members of our GBMC family helped to spread kindness throughout our healthcare system.

Dee Brown               Samantha Gendler

Kindness Kits were distributed to each hospital department, GBMC Health Partners practices, and Gilchrist units, so the GBMC family could display kindness to each other. This year had a new twist, as representatives from KIND also came to the hospital last Wednesday to hand out KIND bars and Valentines to passersby.

We also awarded our annual Random Acts of Kindness Ambassadors. The RAK Week planning committee received many worthy submissions and choosing the winners was extremely difficult. Congratulations to Dee Brown (Gilchrist Subacute) and Samantha Gendler (Marketing) for being selected as the co-recipients of our second Random Acts of Kindness Ambassador Award.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this event for making it such a success.

Book Drive…
Sticking with acts of kindness, just a reminder that we’ve been accepting donations of new and/or gently used books for the Reading Partners “Take Reading Home” program that will help provide support to children from kindergarten through fourth grade. Donations will be accepted until Wednesday, Feb. 28. Please consider leaving your books at our drop-off locations which include the main lobby of the hospital, the Human Resources department, the Marketing office (South Chapman building (Suite 102), Family Care Associates in the William E. Kahlert Physicians Pavilion North, or at any GBMC Health Partners primary care office.

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