Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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President’s Perspective: Community Support

By Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO

Before the first patient came through the doors in 1902, it was already part of Cedars-Sinai. It is stronger than ever in 2018 and has never been more crucial to our mission.

Community support—especially in the form of philanthropic donations—provided the means to build Kaspare Cohn Hospital (as well as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center decades later) and has become even more important as our clinical and academic programs have grown while payment rates for patient care continue to decline.

Unlike most academic medical centers, which were established by a university or the government, Cedars-Sinai was started by the community in response to disparities and discrimination about who could receive healthcare and who could practice medicine. More than a century later, the community’s connection to the outstanding care they receive here—and the research and education conducted—continues to motivate donations that sustain our mission. In fact, about 75 percent of donors to Cedars-Sinai are grateful patients.

Community support is one of the two key factors that have enabled Cedars-Sinai to be a leader in healthcare for so long. The first factor, of course, is all of you—the people of Cedars-Sinai—whose incredible abilities, commitment and innovation make a difference in the lives of thousands of people every single day. As a result of the impact of your work supporting our patients and the community, many of them become motivated to give back to Cedars-Sinai in the form of donations, the second factor. And this benevolent cycle continues, as their philanthropy then enables us to remain a leader by providing the additional resources—technology, advanced facilities, new programs and research support—that attract and support our world-class staff, making the difference between an average institution and a great one.

Because of your extraordinary work, our community support has never been stronger. Our recently completed eight-year fundraising campaign raised $615 million, exceeding the goal by $15 million. And while large donations tend to be the most visible at any institution, many people are not aware that most of the donations to Cedars-Sinai are between $1 and $500. In fact, more than 70,000 people contributed to the just-completed campaign, demonstrating the breadth of the impact of your work, and the strength of the community’s commitment to our institution. Equally impressive is the fact that so many of you are now participating as donors; about 18 percent of our employees made donations to the campaign.

The deep, two-way connection between Cedars-Sinai and the people and communities we serve is not only a cornerstone of the institution, but a testament to the dedication and commitment all of you demonstrate every day.