I have many reasons to feel blessed – among them are my long and positive association with Providence Portland Medical Center, and the honor and pleasure of leading its foundation board. In all of my associations with Providence, I have met people of outstanding character, compassion and drive doing vitally important work, and it’s a privilege to serve with them.
As chair of the Providence Portland Medical Foundation, I am well aware of the effects that our increasingly challenging economy has had on health care in recent years. These challenges are exactly why our work, as philanthropic leaders, is so crucial.
To name one example of the challenges we face, the federal government once provided 70 percent of Providence’s cancer research funding. In recent years, however, federal funding levels have dropped dramatically. As a result, we now rely on local philanthropy, led by our foundation, to provide more than 50 percent of the funding needed to operate our cancer research efforts. Our donors have stepped up to this challenge with generosity and commitment, and today, cancer research is the single largest area that the foundation supports. As a cancer survivor myself, I speak for both the foundation and myself when I express our deep gratitude for that steadfast support.
Because of the unique clinical trials and other specialized services offered here, Providence Portland is increasingly becoming a regional destination for patients who travel here to receive care that is unavailable elsewhere. A new guest housing facility for these patients and their families is a tremendous need, and we’re all so pleased to see that facility now under construction on our campus – funded entirely through philanthropic dollars.
The foundation also is raising funds for My Little Waiting Room, a patient-conceived program that provides drop-in childcare for parents who are receiving care or visiting patients at the hospital. We also support the hospice program, heart and vascular services, charity care, spiritual care services and medical education, among many other worthwhile programs.
It’s a big job – one that helps to touch thousands of lives and to make our community a better and healthier place. Your support is utterly essential, and deeply appreciated.
With sincere gratitude,
Art Johnson, chair
Providence Portland Medical Foundation