Making a Difference in People's Lives
The Charitable Foundation creates and sustains philanthropic relationships. With our donors as partners, we are committed to supporting the programs and services provided by WMMC which improve and enhance quality of life in our community.
When measuring the effectiveness of fundraising we often think of buildings we have constructed or the sophisticated technology we have been able to purchase. But that is only part of the equation; the true measure of philanthropy is the difference our gifts make in the lives of the people we touch.
We all know that diabetes is a significant area of focus for White Memorial Medical Center because it is rampant in our community — approximately 20% of our population is afflicted with this disease. UniHealth Foundation has made a grant of $750,000 to help WMMC design and develop a system for ensuring comprehensive care for those with chronic diseases such as diabetes. When implemented, this program will educate patients with chronic diseases on how to take better care of themselves to avoid repeated Emergency Room visits and enjoy a much improved quality of life. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift and for the past years of support from UniHealth Foundation, which also provided initial grant funding for our TELACU/White Memorial Medical Center Nursing Scholarship Program 10 years ago.
Recently, after completing her rounds of distributing books and puzzles, Bank of America Intern, Myra Hernandez, realized that patients with vision problems could not enjoy these materials. To better serve these individuals, she and a group of volunteers are now hand-making and distributing paper flowers which can be appreciated by all. She also initiated a project to make pin wheels so patients can practice their breathing by blowing on the pin wheels and seeing them turn. Myra is just one example of the many volunteers/interns who give their time and energy to improve patients’ lives. Bank of America Foundation made this possible, when it created the Career Pathway Intern Program through a grant of $500,000 — $1.5 million in total support to date. Staff reports that patient satisfaction scores are higher in the units where the Interns are working. Many of the participants have been offered full time employment at WMMC or other local businesses.
WMMC operates one of the few Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in Los Angeles. Since December, our at-risk newborns have been protected by state-of-the-art technology — neo blue lights — purchased with some of the proceeds from our Annual Gala. Babies are safer and have a better chance of flourishing because friends of WMMC contributed to the success of this fund raising event.
Sometime in the future, White Memorial will receive special gifts to expand and enhance patient care priorities from a group of individuals participating in WMMC’s new Estate Planning Program. Introduced last spring among WMMC Board members and staff leadership, the program offers free consultations with an estate planning expert. Thus far, three participants have completed new plans or revised existing ones, saving their families 80% in taxes and providing WMMC important future funding.
As Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, I take great pride in our hospital, and I want to thank each and every one of our donors. As a lifelong member of this community, I am proud to see the significant difference our gifts are making.
Thank you for your continued generosity.
David C. Lizárraga
WMMC Charitable Foundation
Board of Directors