A Chance to Make a Landmark Impact

Courtesy of Ben G. Raimer, MD

Now in the final stretch, 32 percent of our employees have gotten on board the movement to assure UTMB’s position in the future by pledging a gift to the Family Campaign. Thank you for doing your part in making sure that UTMB has resources to provide the highest quality facilities for patient care as well as education of future health care providers. Your demonstration of commitment sends a powerful message to your colleagues as well as future donors.

There is an enormous sense of pride that comes with being a part of something so powerful and all-encompassing as building a hospital – and not just any hospital, but one that supports a Level 1 Trauma Center for the region and also serves as a classroom for the education of future generations of health care providers.

What a force multiplier your contribution becomes! Your contribution truly will help change the health outcomes as well as the educational outcomes for generations to come.

If you have not made a contribution yet, I hope that you will not miss the opportunity to do something that yields this kind of landmark impact. I know that it is easy to find an excuse to not contribute, to name a few:

–         “My kids are in school…

–          I have not had a raise in…

–          the economy is bad and…

–          every time I turn around someone wants my money and…”

But, one can only make excuses so long. It is the rare occasion that offers one the opportunity to help make an impact as powerful as creating a facility that meets the public’s health and educational needs for the next several decades. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to make history, to be a part of real change, and to provide a legacy of caring for the future.

I hope that during this last week you if you have not already made a pledge, you will carefully evaluate your participation in this project. A payroll deduction of $5 a month over 5 years adds up to a $300 gift. If 5000 people do that, we are $1.5 million closer to having the facility. Do the math. Your gift adds up to significant proportions. In addition, gifts of $100 and greater will be recognized on a Family Campaign plaque in the new hospital. Trust me, you will feel good about being a part of this historic phase in UTMB’s life cycle!

 Ben G. Raimer, M D

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A Collective Investment in UTMB’s Future

Courtesy of Donna K. Sollenberger

As you may have heard, the Family Campaign has been extended through April 12 to give all members of the UTMB community a chance to participate in this important campaign—through our collective effort, we will make an investment in the future of health care and be a part of something bigger than ourselves! This very idea reminded me of a touching story about a young lady I once knew at another institution during my career.

This young lady worked in our deli. Her mother had recently passed away, and she wanted to find a way to honor her. She didn’t have much money to give, but through a small donation, she was able to honor the memory of her mother. When the display showcasing these contributions opened, the young lady invited me to see her mother’s name—the impact of that was so meaningful to me! Here was a woman with very little who had found an absolutely beautiful and powerful way to honor the memory of her mother!

This just goes to show that even if you can only give a small amount, it can have great significance to us personally and it will also go a long way in leveraging future support as alumni, foundations and others look to our own participation levels. One of the great things about the campaign that makes it easier for everyone to participate is that pledges can be fulfilled over a period of up to five years—through  a regular payroll deduction of only a few dollars, over time, that small gift can really add up to make a huge impact. And of course, one-time gifts are also graciously accepted. We’ve come a long way at UTMB Health, so please consider making a gift to our beautiful, new hospital. Please visit http://www.utmb.edu/familycampaign for more details.

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Making way for the future

Courtesy of Ben G. Raimer, M. D.

Are you as excited about seeing the demolition of the old Shriner’s and the Jennie Sealy hospitals as I am?  Making way for the future is always a challenging task, but it also creates wonderful feelings of excitement and anticipation!

As a student, many of my third- and fourth-year rotations at UTMB took place in Shriner’s and the original Jennie Sealy Hospital. Rounds in adult psychiatry at Jennie Sealy with Dr. Goodman, Dr. Ford or Dr. Towler were always filled with incredible cases from all over the nation. One never knew just “who” they might encounter as their next patient.  The urban myths of dignitaries treated in Jennie Sealy are legendary. It was a beautiful building once you got past the foreboding black walls of the first floor, but it served its purpose well and is now making way for UTMB’s future needs.

I also trained in the old John Sealy Hospital — you know, the one with walls and hallways constructed of green blocks. The operating rooms and patient care accommodations in old John Sealy date back to 1953. After 60 years of use, new facilities are long overdue for our surgical colleagues.

Now is the time for us all to work together to create a future environment that enables us to fulfill our mission and meet our goals. Our clinics both on- and off-campus have been upgraded, so we now must turn our attention to the campus core.

The new Jennie Sealy Hospital will not only host state-of-the-art operating suites, procedure rooms, intensive care beds and patient rooms, but it will also be the classroom of the future for tomorrow’s health care providers. If your priority is education, you can feel comfortable knowing that your contributions to the construction of the new Jennie Sealy Hospital will create the ultimate health professions classroom — a hospital.

The new Jennie Sealy will be financed through three major funding sources:

  • $170 million from the Sealy Smith Foundation
  • $150 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds (TRB) approved and funded by the Texas Legislature
  • $100 million in philanthropic contributions from our family and friends

Our campaign to raise those gifts is off to a great start. The 46 members of the President’s Strategic Executive Committee, senior management at UTMB, met their goal for 100 percent participation with pledges of nearly $700,000. That’s an average gift of more than $15,000 per individual! The Development Office also boasts 100 percent participation honors with pledges exceeding $100,000. Other individuals and departments are quickly pursuing similar goals.

Over the weekend I suffered from writer’s cramp due to signing “thank you” letters! I am not complaining – in fact, I can’t of a better reason for muscle aches! Naming opportunities for rooms in the new hospital are also quickly being reserved by individuals and departments.

As we reach the midway point in our four-week family campaign I hope you will join those who have already made a commitment to UTMB’s future. Your participation and support sends a clear signal to other potential donors. Please join me and your co-workers in securing a bright future for UTMB. Complete your online pledge form today at www.utmb.edu/familycampaign.

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Courtesy of Donna Sollenberger

As we embark on the Family Campaign, I am reminded of the saying, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” As a team at UTMB Health, we share a vision for what UTMB can be in the years to come. The work done at UTMB is remarkable, and each day I am touched by patient testimonials and amazed by the talent and expertise of our people. However, in the increasingly competitive environment of health care, we must remember that our patients, students, residents and faculty have choices, and we need competitive facilities to continue to attract the best and the brightest people and be attractive to patients in the future.

The keystone of the campaign, the New Jennie Sealy Hospital, will house state-of-the-art ORs, ICU rooms and infrastructure—it is critical to attracting patients, ensuring adaptability in an industry that is reforming, and securing appropriate reimbursement. It’s also essential to providing tomorrow’s health care workforce the best possible education and training. In addition, scholarships and endowments funded through the campaign will help ensure UTMB Health can offer opportunities to the best and brightest.

Any donation is the gesture of support by each of us that is important. Even if you can only give a small amount, it will go a long way in leveraging future support. Members of the community, alumni, corporations and foundations will look to the example set by UTMB Health to see that we are behind our own vision for the future. Everyone’s support counts as we build to define the future of health care. Working Together the Future is Ours! 

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