Building Bonds and Funding Our Future
Sep 13, 2016 2:03 PM
At the University of Utah Health Sciences, philanthropy takes on many forms. It means partnering with the community to advance health, science and education for the state of Utah and the world around us. It means developing stronger relationships with donors who care as deeply as we do about health sciences innovation, and who can help us in our mission to deliver the best possible clinical care, foster collaboration between clinicians and researchers, and train the health care providers of the future.
With so much at stake, strengthening the bonds between Health Sciences and the generous communities who support us remains a crucial objective. I am delighted to share that we have enlisted as our new chief development officer an individual who has exceptional talent doing just that.
With a remarkable 25-year career in development, John Baker began his journey with the University of Utah on June 1. He came to us from the University of Southern California, where he was senior executive director of development for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and a senior leader on the team directing a $1.5 billion campaign to raise money for the university’s Keck School of Medicine. Throughout his career, John has demonstrated remarkable ability to engage community support for organizations ranging from the nonprofit Los Angeles County chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency—where he doubled the organization’s budget through philanthropy—to a record-setting development campaign for a private high school in Los Angeles, and back to USC, where he led a $485 million cancer campaign.
John brings his talent to University of Utah Health Sciences at a critical time for us. Plans are already underway to construct a new medical education and discovery building housing the medical school, the Global Health Institute and collaborative spaces for clinicians, researchers and students. Here, our diverse medical community can meet to share and develop ideas for health care transformation, precision medicine and life-changing research. A discovery and innovation center will provide a dedicated space for medical device companies—and other companies interested in entering into health care—to test their products in a health care simulation environment.
In addition, a new ambulatory care center will serve patients who require specialty care. It will also provide interprofessional training for students from the five Health Sciences colleges. Other significant needs include: a rehabilitation hospital; a new building to house our largest education program, the College of Health; and new space to advance our research programs.
Just as important is our investment in the programs and people who will be housed in this newly transformed campus. These are the individuals who will help us advance health of Utahns, and create sustainable programs that will impact generations to come. We continue to build on our strengths in genetics and precision medicine through the Utah Genome Project, which allows us to translate genetic discoveries into accurate diagnostic tests and targeted treatments in the areas of neuroscience, cancer and diabetes. We attract outstanding scientists and educators who advance discovery and pedagogy through innovation and strong infrastructural resources. Faculty and student support through endowed chairs, scholarships and mentoring and training programs strengthens our teams and enables them to fulfill their potential. In each of these areas and more, our philanthropic partners are critical to realizing our dreams.
To help support John and the rest of the development team in forging new relationships and commitments to move monumental projects like these forward, Health Sciences welcomes Steve Warner, M.B.A., CFRE, back into the fold as senior executive director of development, effective August 1. Those of you who are familiar with Steve’s work in his prior role as assistant vice president for Health Sciences will remember that he lead the Health Sciences development team in a successful universitywide $725 million campaign between 1995 and 2000. In 2013, the team successfully completed a $1.4 billion campaign. Steve returns to us after serving a three-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are delighted to welcome him back.
Looking forward, with John’s outstanding leadership and vision and the strength of his team, I am convinced we will forge new partnerships with friends of the University of Utah Health Sciences, residents of our state and others outside of Utah who recognize that the opportunity to make the next great steps in medicine and health care has arrived.comments powered by Disqus