Celebrating Twenty Years
Saint Luke’s Foundation was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate its twenty year anniversary with a warm gathering last week, bringing together both current and former staff and board members. Anne Goodman, President and CEO, opened the event with the following remarks:
At the time of my arrival 3.5 years ago a book on the history of the hospital had just been completed. I know that you have all seen this wonderful piece with great photos. But, the book ends when we became a foundation and a new beginning was created. That was twenty years ago.
At your seats you see you have a copy of a book compiled by Justin Glanville. Justin did twenty interviews with some of us who have been involved with the Foundation over the years. As you can see, Justin is very creative and so talented and he worked with us to produce a very unique product with a wonderfully personal touch. At this point he probably knows more about us than we do! Our hats are off to Justin and we are grateful.
In the beginning of the book, I tried to pay homage to a man I never had the opportunity to meet. Frank Beam. What a legacy he left and what an impact – which continues to live on and will in perpetuity. His work means so much to us, and to literally thousands of people whose lives have been touched because of the vision he had. Of course, he didn’t act alone and there are those here who were also part of this brave and creative move to create a foundation. And after Frank came an incredible list of leaders: Joe Thomas, Sam Houston, Sandra Kiley Kolb, Doug Wang and Belva Denmark Tibbs. I want to recognize them with a round of applause, too.
And there is also Denise San Antonio Zeman. I remember very well the first time I met Denise. I was surprised because when I was at the Food Bank and we heard there were these new foundations that had been created out of closed hospitals. We called to inquire about the foundation and she said she would be glad to meet to discuss it. That isn’t always typical. She set a tone, right from the beginning, of openness that lives with us today. And the first thing Denise told us was that she was interested in the work the Food Bank was doing in our neighborhood. Her first impulse was to care about our home.
As a community leader and as the leader of the Saint Luke’s Foundation, Denise had a tremendous impact during her years at the Foundation (and before and after for that matter). In my opinion her most important legacy was leading us back to the neighborhood to reside in the hospital whose name we bear. It wasn’t just about moving desks, it was the courage that Denise and the board had to invest in the huge project that was the saving of our hospital. The resurrection of the hospital means a lot not only to the residents, but to the community. It is a beacon and it has made all of the difference in our ability to connect and partner with those around us. It feels like home and I think our ability to work with the neighborhood at all levels, from block club leaders to members of City Council, is greatly enhanced by the authenticity of living in the neighborhood.
We are lucky now to have these tremendous staff and I am honored to work with them. Your organization is truly in great hands. All of you here tonight, past and present board and staff, are owed a debt of gratitude likely from hundreds of thousands of people you have never met, but whose lives we have touched in partnership with the strong and innovative organizations. I am the one here voicing that gratitude, but it really is a symphony of voices. The commitment and good judgement of our board and staff have made possible almost $150M in grants to organizations that I believe really are changing the world for the better. We should not rest on our laurels for even a minute, but we should pause and reflect – and smile. It has been a job well done.
We will be sharing these twenty interviews in the coming months so you can appreciate Saint Luke’s Foundation’s rich history and the wonderful people who helped us become who we are today.