Giving Hope: The Campaign for Atrium Health to impact community for decades
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 25, 2021 – Atrium Health is launching the largest, comprehensive philanthropic campaign in the history of Charlotte. Designed to transform the delivery of healthcare to patients throughout the region, the new campaign – called “Giving Hope” – will take place over the next six years. The goal is to raise at least $500 million to strengthen communities, transform facilities and advance healing through enhanced medical research and education.
“Great change is upon us,” said Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health. “There is no better time than now at Atrium Health to reinvent ourselves as a system that not only cares, but educates … that not only innovates, but impacts… that not only leads, but transforms.”
These themes are embodied by the Giving Hope campaign, which Atrium Health created to support advancements in education and research, as well as to address population growth and access to care, reductions in federal funding, and aging infrastructure on the central campus of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Charlotte icon and business leader Hugh McColl has been instrumental in kicking off the transformative campaign, which has raised nearly $75 million during its quiet phase. As chair of the campaign, McColl has helped recruit a dynamic group of business leaders and community advocates to the campaign cabinet, which will play a key role in promoting Giving Hope.
“I’ve been involved with this health system for many years, witnessed its growth and shared in its vision and mission of giving hope to all,” said McColl. “Today, we embark on a once–in–a–lifetime endeavor for our city. The outcomes created by this ambitious campaign will make a tremendous, positive impact for the next half century and beyond, with an emphasis on the four pillars of social impact, education, research and patient-centered facilities.”
The social impact component of Giving Hope focuses on healthy communities – improving access in fragile neighborhoods through efforts such as mobile screenings, local vaccination events, virtual primary care in rural schools and virtual behavioral health throughout the health system.
The Wake Forest School of Medicine – Charlotte campus, expected to break ground in 2022, will be one of the springboards for the campaign’s emphasis on outstanding education.
“Support from this campaign will make us better, collectively,” said Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health, dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine and chief academic officer for Atrium Health. “As our two medical school campuses converge into one learning health system, we are creating one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies.”
The Giving Hope campaign will provide multiple opportunities to support the school, from naming gifts to fund capital projects and distinguished faculty chair positions, to scholarship funding for undergrads, medical students, residencies and medical fellowships. One such scholarship recently seeded with $5 million from Atrium Health – the Bishop George E. Battle Jr. Scholarship – will support the continuing education of those who live in underserved communities and are in pursuit of a degree in health sciences at an Atrium Health-affiliated college or university.
The strategic combination of Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health into a single enterprise will also play a key role in the campaign’s efforts to advance preeminent research. With community support, Atrium Health intends to become a nationally-ranked, top–10 medical research center in signature areas such as Aging and Mobility, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Obesity, Pain and Addiction, and Regenerative Medicine –elevating North Carolina as a national destination for receiving medical care.
“We will develop treatments – from bench to bedside – that impact the lives of patients we serve and for generations to follow,” said Freischlag.
For generations, patients, families, teammates and learners will benefit from the exemplary facilities that will also be supported through Giving Hope. Most recently, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute opened its new location in the Kenilworth Plaza in Charlotte. As soon as 2022, Carolinas Rehabilitation and Union West will open doors to their new facilities. Additional plans underway include renovations to Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute and the Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital outpatient center and building a new bed tower on the campus of Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, as well as construction and ongoing support of Wake Forest School of Medicine – Charlotte.
“With philanthropic support, we’ll not only see new buildings on the horizon, but the development of programs and initiatives, state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment, and research and educational opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist,” said Armando Chardiet, president of Atrium Health Foundation. “There will be opportunities, both grand and small, to be a part of Giving Hope — from improving the health of those in fragile communities; supporting the aspiring medical student who might be the first in their family to acquire an advanced degree; creating new spaces to learn, work and deliver world class care; and providing preeminent research in the region.”
“Now, more than ever, we are committed to ushering in a new era of health and driving a collective vision toward a brighter future ahead for the patients and communities we humbly serve,” said Woods. “Every bit of support will move us closer to our aspiring goal to build a stronger, more inclusive and, most importantly, healthier community – for the benefit of ALL.”
About Atrium Health
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with nearly 70,000 teammates serving patients at 37 hospitals and more than 1,350 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for cancer treatment and in eight pediatric specialties, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.