Akron Children's forms Physicians for Philanthropy

John McBride, MD

John McBride, MD

Philanthropic contributions often mean the difference between good programs and exceptional programs. No one is more aware of this than physicians.

“Take, for example, Akron Children’s Hospital’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center,” said John McBride, MD, pediatric pulmonologist and vice chairman of the department of pediatrics. “It’s one of the most outstanding programs in the country, and the Haslinger family support has been critical in making it happen.”

Since Dr. McBride sees firsthand the difference philanthropy makes for his patients, he not only gives of his own resources but also integrates fundraising into his role as a physician. John Crow, MD, chairman of the department of surgery, also realized early in his career the importance of giving back.

“When I started, senior surgeons approached me about supporting hospital programs,” said Dr. Crow. “I don’t think it’s hard to sell other physicians on the benefits of the growth of the institution.”

To fuel that philanthropic spirit, Akron Children’s formed Physicians for Philanthropy, which encourages physicians’ involvement in fundraising, both personally and by working with families who are interested in giving.

“The physicians at Akron Children’s are on the frontlines,” said John Zoilo, vice president of the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “They understand and appreciate the importance of philanthropy and are a willing partner with foundation staff to advance the hospital’s mission.”

Dr. McBride and Dr. Crow currently serve as chairpersons for the group, which now includes 12 physician members and four hospital staff members. Physicians’ involvement in fundraising is always an individual decision. For some, it’s a deeply-felt call to give. Others also feel comfortable talking to patient families who are interested in supporting programs that benefitted their child or grandchild.

John Crow, MD

John Crow, MD

“Many families with the means to be supportive are not aware of what they can do, so we work as a team to help them realize how their support can make exceptional programs possible,” said Dr. McBride. “We’re all physicians first. There’s absolutely no question that our primary responsibility is the patients and families. But we do want physicians to be aware that if a family expresses interest, we can be instrumental in helping them find the ways to be most effective with their contributions.”

Zoilo points out that even prior to forming Physicians for Philanthropy, many Akron Children’s physicians were instrumental in working with grateful families who have stepped forward and provided support for the hospital.

“Whenever the hospital has needed to improve facilities, the physicians and community have responded generously,” said Zoilo.

Now, through the efforts of Physicians for Philanthropy, the hospital is able to tap into more resources. Physicians have the information they need to put them at ease when talking to patient families about giving. Dr. McBride and Dr. Crow hope that the group continues to grow, as the hospital is poised for future endeavors.

 “This is an exciting time for the institution,” said Dr. Crow. “Rallying our physicians in support of it is a great way to build the teamwork necessary to keep our momentum going.”

Philanthropy on the 'frontlines'
Publication: Children's Progress
Issue: Summer

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