Straight Talk - “What is your inspiration?”

April 5, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

NCH owes its success to many, many people. And last week, we celebrated and thanked 150 of the most exceptional.

Specifically, we celebrated with 150 of the 800 members in our donor community. These donors made a gift of $1,000 or more in 2011 and have over the years generously supported NCH with more than 70.6 million dollars in contributions. Our 2011 Annual Report ( ) asks people like these 150 donors, “What is your inspiration?” The individuals are admirable, and their answers are instructive. Here are just a few:

  • The generous contributions of Fred and Helen Shick have helped the NCH cardiac surgery unit rank among the top 10% in the nation, according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
  • Ray and Peggy Pettit recognized the surgeons and medical staff of our cardiac team by donating and naming the waiting area of the Naples Heart Institute located in the Briggs Wellness Center. Ray served as a valued trustee of NCH for eight years. 
  • Patricia and Russell Fleischman have been long-time supporters of NCH by initially helping redo the Psychiatric Unit years ago. This past year, they made an additional gift for the Cardiac Diagnostic Center.
  • Stephen and Lety Schwartz’s Brookdale Center of Healthy Aging and Rehabilitation was reborn at the North Naples Campus in a holistic and bucolic setting that promotes wellness and healing. The Brookdale Foundation has dominated geriatric research and education for decades in New York and now in Naples. Patients benefiting from combined rehabilitation and geriatric care recover better and faster from strokes, accidents, and other life diminishing events.
  • Jackie Bearse was the force behind our successful 2011 Magnolia Ball, which will provide the funds to completely remodel the North Naples Outpatient Infusion Center. This serene and dignified environment will allow for a greater degree of privacy and comfort. Eleven years ago, Suzanne and Bob Chute founded the Magnolia Ball, which has gone on to raise more than $6 million to provide state-of-the-art treatment and caring support for Naples cancer patients and their families. 
  • Audrey Petersen is continuing her life’s mission of spreading information technology, with her very generous contribution which inspired us with the courage to launch the Smart Rooms project on the 5th and 6th floors of the Baker Tower at the North Naples Campus. Smart Rooms change the patients’ and care givers’ experiences in a positive way by providing education and decreasing medical mishaps, while increasing efficiency. This past year’s hospital ball also contributed to these new rooms, where all medical components integrate wirelessly and seamlessly with each other and the electronic medical record.
  • Finally, all 1,190 of our NCH Volunteers contribute every day to an open and welcoming culture—from the moment a patient enters through our doors to the time they get back into their car to return home. Volunteers range from teenagers to age 97, all fulfilling a life-long desire to help others.

With plans for investing between $100-$125 million on important capital projects over the next three years, NCH depends on community support to realize its quality goals. Chief Development Officer Jim Martin noted in the annual report, “Great accomplishments in any given year for non-profit organizations such as NCH require a proper melding of dreams, needs, and ideas.” We added in the report that, “The truly successful live, but not just for themselves; give, but not just to themselves.” Our donors are such selfless people. They have enhanced our ability to care for all in our community. And we are eternally grateful for their role and inspiration.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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