Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is
not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
By Barbra Alan
More than 200 friends, patients, and community members joined senior executives and faculty members of Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School on the evening of September 28 for the annual Benefactors Appreciation Reception.
A tradition for over two decades, the event gives Medical Center and Medical School supporters an opportunity to come together with DHMC and DMS leaders and learn how their generosity improves the lives of those in the community and beyond.
Among the evening's highlights was a moving keynote address by Dr. Ira Byock, director of the DHMC Palliative Medicine Program. In his remarks, titled "Precious Possessions," Byock drew on inspiring stories of patients and families whose lives have touched his over the years.
Other highlights included announcements of the latest Campaign achievement and of plans for a new translational and clinical research facility.To be constructed on the south side of DHMC's Lebanon campus, the facility will include homes for Dartmouth's translational research programs and for its world-renowned Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences—both of which will be linked to DHMC by the LeBaron Commons. In his remarks, Brian Lally, vice president for development and alumni relations, explained that the facility will be named in honor of Dr.C. Everett Koop—former U.S. surgeon general and a member of the Dartmouth College Class of 1937—whose lifetime of service to medicine and the nation set a new standard for health-care advocacy in behalf of patients.
The reception also included recognition—by Nancy Formella, acting president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital—of J. Brian Quinn as this year's recipient of the Outstanding Community Ambassador Award. He has served DHMC in many roles, including as the chair of the 500- plus-member Dartmouth- Hitchcock Assembly of Overseers, as a member of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Working Group for the Transforming Medicine Campaign, and as a generous longtime donor."We are indeed grateful for his many actions, which have considerably enriched Dartmouth medicine," Formella said."For everything he has given to us,we thank him and celebrate him tonight." Quinn, an emeritus professor of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, was unable to attend the reception and received the award at a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Overseers' meeting a few weeks later.
Over 21,000 donors throughout northern New England and the nation made gifts totaling more than $27 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, making it a record-breaking fund-raising year for DMS and DHMC.
"We are here tonight to say thank you," concluded Lally. "And we believe the best way to thank you is to spend your gift wisely."
By Barbra Alan
The second annual Celebrating Our Scholars dinner, held the evening of October 19, gave DMS scholarship students the satisfying opportunity to personally thank many of the donors whose generosity is helping to fund their medical education.
"It's nice to put a face with a name," explained Jamie Miller, a first-year medical student." When you receive your admissions letter telling you that you've received a scholarship, it's a mystery where that money is coming from. Tonight, I can express my gratitude to the people who have given me the opportunity to study at Dartmouth."
Dr. Mark Horwich, a DC '63 and DMS '65 who has been a longtime scholarship donor, spoke at the event. He also introduced three scholarship student speakers who shared their backgrounds and career aspirations: Eugene Hsu, a second-year M.D.-M.B.A. student; Rebecca Rotello, a third-year M.D. student; and James McCarthy, a fourth-year M.D. student.
All three students expressed gratitude to the donors whose gifts have made their studies possible."I have been fortunate to receive substantial financial support to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor, and for that I am grateful," Rotello said. "Without your support, I wouldn't be here."
In closing remarks, Dr. Stephen Spielberg, DMS's dean and the evening's host, underscored the importance of scholarships. He pointed out that "85% of our students receive some sort of financial aid, and scholarships make up roughly 36% of that aid.That's very high for a medical school. Because of your generosity, our graduates are beginning their careers in medicine with a debt considerably less than the national average.
"Thank you for your support," he concluded, then added,"I'm already looking forward to next year's event!"
Raising the bar
The financial goal of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is to raise $250 million by 2009. Even more far-reaching is its goal of "raising the bar" in medicine. Of questioning assumptions—respecting tradition but not following it blindly. Of erasing boundaries—translating science from the lab bench to the bedside by connecting researchers with clinicians. Of creating solutions to the nation's most critical health-care issues. Of transforming medicine.
With the average U.S. medical school debt well over $100,000, there is a growing national consensus that debt is affecting students' decisions of which medical schools to attend and even which medical specialties to pursue. As a result, fewer students are choosing careers in research or certain specialties, in favor of clinical subspecialties that offer greater income potential. Some students are forfeiting their dream of entering medicine altogether, discouraged by the massive financial burden.
Easing the debt load for bright, promising students has long been a priority at DMS and is one of the goals of the Transforming Medicine Campaign. Within the Campaign is a $10-million target for scholarships, to allow DMS to continue to attract qualified students regardless of their financial need.
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu
Barbra Alan is assistant director of development communications for the Medical School and Medical Center.