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Transforming Medicine Campaign

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It's the only thing.
 —Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Celebrating generosity

By Kate Villars

Almost 200 friends and supporters gathered with Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center leadership and faculty on the evening of September 27 to celebrate the progress of theTransforming Medicine Campaign.

The Donor Appreciation Reception—an annual tradition for more than two decades—brings together friends from the community and the alumni body to learn how their generosity to DMS and DHMC is improving lives not only throughout the region but also all across the country. This year's event took place in a beautifully decorated tent on the lawn of DHMC.

Special announcement
A special announcement by Dartmouth College President JamesWright gave added cause for celebration at this year's reception. Those attending were the first to learn of a landmark $20-million gift commitment by the Campaign's chair,Dr. PeterWilliamson, and his wife, Susan.The gift is the largest single gift in the history of the Medical School and Medical Center. (For more on the Williamsons' gift, see this article.) Thunderous applause—and even real thunder from an evening rainstorm passing overhead—accompanied the announcement, as audience members rose to their feet to give Peter and SusanWilliamson a standing ovation for their generosity and leadership.

Tribute was also paid to the Campaign's employee donors. Nancy Formella, president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance, shared the results of DHMC's first-ever Employee Giving Campaign, a three-month effort that concluded on August 31 with almost 900 staff members participating. Since the start of the Transforming Medicine Campaign in 2002, employees have contributed nearly $6 million. "That's evidence of how excited people are to work here and how much our employees also want to give back," said Formella.

Another highlight of the evening was the honoring of Joan "Posey" Fowler as 2007's Outstanding Community Ambassador. In presenting the award,Nancy Formella recognized Fowler as "someone who by thought,word, and deed exemplifies a passionate commitment to her community, and to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School."

Born at "the Hitch"—as Mary Hitchcock Hospital is known to many who recall its early days—and raised in Hanover, Fowler began volunteering at the Hospital as a young girl, helping her mother roll bandages. She has served DHMC in many capacities, including as an MHMHTrustee, a DHMCTrustee, the chair of the Annual Fund, and a member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Assembly of Overseers. In fact, the morning of the Appreciation Reception, she was at the DHMC information desk at 8:00 a.m. to work one of her regular volunteer shifts.

Keynote address
Dr. JamesWeinstein, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (formerly the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences) delivered the evening's keynote address.

In a talk titled "Does the Doctor Always Know Best?" Weinstein discussed his pioneering work in shared decision-making, a program that helps patients make informed choices about treatments for a variety of health conditions. This model, now being adopted at other medical centers across the country, is giving patients a greater voice in their own medical care.

Vice President for Development Brian Lally concluded the festivities by announcing that the year ending June 30, 2007, was a record-breaking fundraising year for the Medical School and Medical Center, with 25,496 donors making gifts and pledges totaling more than $43 million. Since the 2002 launch of theTransforming Medicine Campaign, 65,000 donors have participated—a figure that Lally equated to the combined population of 16 towns surrounding DHMC. "Put very simply," concluded Lally,"without you, these institutions could not exist."

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.

A landmark gift
A record-breaking $20-million gift commitment from Dr. Peter Williamson, chair of the Transforming Medicine Campaign, and his wife, Susan, has spurred the Campaign to within $60 million of its $250 million goal. The gift is the largest ever made to either DMS or DHMC. In honor of theWilliamsons' generosity, theTrustees of Dartmouth College, the Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School, and theTrustees of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have named the translational research building in the future C. Everett Koop Medical Science Complex for the Williamsons. The Koop Complex and the research activities that it will foster are among the highest priorities of the Campaign, which will conclude in December of 2009.

Learning more
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu

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Kate Villars is assistant director of development communications for DMS-DHMC

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