The mission of the Methodist Hospitals Foundation is to support the patients through projects and programs at the Methodist Hospitals, and Robert Hanrahan, executive director, says the foundation began only recently which is surprising for a hospital with such a long history. Hanrahan says, “The foundation is relatively new for Methodist. In their 90 years history they never had a foundation. They began their efforts to establish a foundation in 2009 and became official in 2010 when I came on board.”
The Foundation is an important part of the hospitals plans for expanding and strengthening its partnership with the community. Today, more than ever, health care providers need to engage local support for the critical roles that hospitals fulfill in their communities. Participating in giving to the Foundation is an ideal way for community members to take part in furthering the hospital’s mission. Hanrahan says that through the foundation’s funding, the Methodist Hospitals are able to extend their reach to their patients. “Each year we buy scales for our heart patients who can’t afford them because our heart patients need to watch their weight. We provide games for kids in the playrooms and we fund supplies and equipment for our emergency department,” he says.
Foundation fundraising efforts continue throughout the year, including a golf tournament in June where winners receive blue jackets, akin to the Masters Tournament award of green jackets, and they hosted a Wine Women and Shoes event where they auctioned a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. They also host a Founders Society Ball to formally recognize all of the donors who have given over the past year.
All fundraising events culminate in a Mardi Gras event to crown a king and queen. Hanrahan explains, “In New Orleans people think of Mardi Gras as a wild and crazy party, but the krewes, which are groups that raise money for charity before Mardi Gras, are all philanthropic. So the king is the most philanthropic man in the state of Louisiana, and the queen is a debutante but has to have been philanthropic. So we pattern our event here after this philosophy.” Part of it for me, as a certified fundraiser for the past 30 years, is that you have to make fundraising fun so people enjoy it more and give more.
For more information please visit Foundation.methodisthospitals.com.