Thousands of lives have been touched by philanthropy this year. Patients from all walks of life, old and young, have benefited from the kindness of generous donors. From large gifts which fund major projects to small but impactful gifts which make it possible to deliver a toy to a child, philanthropy has made quite an impact on patients throughout Atrium Health. We are grateful for the generosity of the thousands of donors who support the best care possible for patients throughout the Southeast. Here’s a look at a few of the top moments in philanthropy from 2018:

Cardiac Innovators

This spring, the Mattei family gave a $1 million gift to launch the Mattei Cardiovascular Innovations Fund, which will enable Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute to pursue newer treatments and help patients live longer lives with a higher quality of life. In recognition of the gift, which brings the total donated from the family to Atrium Health above $4 million, the newly renovated Cardiothoracic Surgery Intensive Care Unit at Sanger now bears the Mattei name.

In the Winner’s Circle for Levine Cancer Institute

2017 was truly a winning year for Martin Truex Jr. and his longtime partner, Sherry Pollex. From the race track to the catwalk, the two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion driver capped off a record-setting year with a pledge of $100,000 from the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation to support the Supportive Oncology Fund at Levine Cancer Institute. When Sherry learned that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the young age of 35, she turned her experience into an opportunity to extend the reach of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation — which currently funds ovarian cancer research and integrative health services for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, in addition to childhood cancer initiatives. The Foundation’s efforts to impact ovarian cancer are carried out under the fitting moniker SherryStrongThanks to the pledge to Levine Cancer Institute through SherryStrong, the North Charlotte LCI locations will soon offer the region’s most innovative and impactful supportive oncology services, such as healing touch therapy, oncology massage therapy, acupuncture, and other supportive services to ease the pain and anxiety associated with cancer.

Cancer Champions: Isabella Santos Foundation Takes Pediatric Cancer Care to the Next Level

In February, the Isabella Santos Foundation committed $5 million to Levine Children’s Hospital, further championing their quest to cure the types of rare cancers that forever changed Isabella’s family. This tremendous commitment – one of the single largest in the hospital’s 10-year history – is designated to fund the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) Rare and Solid Tumor Program. The program is designed to research and treat a wide range of cancers, including neuroblastoma, the type of cancer that Isabella fought.

In December, the Isabella Santos Foundation also unveiled the new MIBG suite at Levine Children’s, which features a lead-lined patient room and an adjoining room for parents and caregivers. The suite allows for specialized targeted radiation therapy, a treatment that is found in only 20 children’s hospitals nationwide. The opening of the MIBG suite marks the beginning of a new, brighter future for pediatric cancer treatment in Charlotte.

Big Boost for Community Health

This summer, The Duke Endowment awarded three grants totaling $1.8 million to Atrium Health Foundation to address population health and improve access to cardiac care and pediatric dental care in the region. The largest of the three grants – $1.1 million – will fund the Perfect Care: Personalized Cardiac Care and Collaborative, a novel initiative that Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute will pilot in six hospitals within its network. The initiative aims to improve patient access and education, as well as eliminate disparities in follow-up cardiac care after surgery. It is the first of its kind, nationally, focused on engaging patients and their families through remote telemonitoring.

In addition, the Department of Oral Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center received a $200,000 boost to integrate dental care into Levine Children’s Hospital. Funding will support a pediatric dentist who will both promote preventative oral health and ensure that patients who have lacked access to dental care receive optimal care. Finally, the third grant will support new “food pharmacies” operated by ONE Charlotte Health Alliance, a collaboration between Atrium Health, Novant Health, and the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Teal Heels Reach New Heights in Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer

This September, the grounds of SouthPark Mall came alive with teal – the color representing ovarian cancer awareness – at the 8th Annual Stiletto Sprint, which set a new record this year by raising over $100,000 for ovarian cancer research and patient programs at Levine Cancer Institute. The Stiletto Sprint provides an opportunity for survivors and supporters to join together in memory of those who bravely fought ovarian cancer and to honor those who are still fighting. The event also focuses on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of the devastating disease.

Charlotte Knights Hit a Home-Run for Patients at LCH

The Charlotte Knights were celebrated at Levine Children’s Hospital earlier this year for their generous commitment of $173,000 to renovate the hospital’s 4th-floor Rehabilitation playroom. Bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘take me out to the ballgame’, the Rehabilitation playroom was transformed into a Charlotte Knights-themed space, complete with a baseball diamond, images of players, and more – providing an open, engaging, and therapeutic space that optimizes comfort and recovery. The room was officially unveiled in December and is now available to pediatric rehabilitation patients to advance their rehab goals and have some fun in the process.

While these are only a few of the ways that philanthropy has touched the lives of Atrium Health patients this year, we are so grateful for the continued outpouring of support from generous donors in all areas. Every gift provides health, hope, and healing to a person who needs it most. 

Learn more about the incredible gifts and philanthropic community partnerships that have advanced Atrium Health’s mission in 2018.