Committed to the Common Good

The Parkview Foundation bridges donor generosity and patient care.
Feb 5, 2019
Tammy Davis
Steve Vorderman

As the region’s only nonprofit healthcare system, Parkview Health has relied on generous donors to support its mission since the Ladies’ Hospital Society raised enough money to build the first hospital now known as Parkview in 1878. Since then, philanthropy has continued to play a significant role in Parkview’s ability to provide top-tier care to its patients. Today, promoting the wellbeing of others through charitable gifts is managed by the Parkview Foundation. Its mission is “to inspire the generous spirit of our community that brings gifts of healing and comfort to everyone Parkview serves.”

In practical terms, that mission can be broken into four broad categories: to assist patients with urgent financial need, to advance cutting-edge medical research, to support professional medical education and to introduce state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. This work differs from its more visible counterpart, the Community Health Improvement (CHI) program, which funds the community health initiatives that often bear Parkview’s name.

Parkview Foundation Senior Vice President Tim McElwee explains it this way. “The CHI uses internal money [from operations] to address external health needs in the community. At the Foundation, we work with external donors to address internal needs.”

Those needs might include anything from providing parents of limited means with a car seat for their newborn, to the cutting-edge medical research that takes place at the Mirro Center, to specialized training for staff members to equipping operating rooms with specialty equipment. The Foundation takes a long view by continually working to position the health system for the future, for the benefit of the community.

“We’re committed to the common good, doing all we can, every way we can,” says McElwee. “We want to enable Parkview Health to serve its patients and their families to the absolute best of our ability. We reinvest in the community with all the money we raise.”

‘All the money we raise’ is an important distinction for the Parkview Foundation. Because its operating expenses are covered by the health system’s budget, all donor-provided funds – 100 percent – go directly to projects.

“I’ve never in my fundraising career been able to say to donors that every dollar they give goes directly to those they intend to help,” says McElwee. “It’s a phenomenal commitment on the part of Parkview.”

One of the Parkview Foundation’s current areas of focus is the Transformative Cancer Care Fund (TCCF), championed by Dr. Neil Sharma, President of the Parkview Cancer Institute. The TCCF seeks to establish a $5 million endowment that will bridge the gap between the care that cancer patients need and what is covered by their insurance companies. In addition to helping solve medical coverage issues such as providing patients access to expensive medications, the TCCF also assists with non-medical needs such as transportation, temporary housing, and self-care items like wigs to cover hair loss. 

Another project was Parkview’s G-EO Evolution machine. Introduced in 2017 at Parkview Randallia as the first such unit in the state and one of only a handful in the country, the G-EO is a robotic gait training machine used to improve a patient’s ability to walk. A recently-added pediatric module allows Parkview to expand use of the system to include children.

“Donors are literally changing lives,” says McElwee. “Every nickel of that piece of equipment was funded by donors.”

To help people understand the impact their contributions can have, the Parkview Foundation periodically hosts ‘white coat tours.’ These three-hour events include a reception, dinner, and short presentations from surgeons. Attendees are then invited to don scrubs and meet the surgeons in their operating rooms, where they see and sometimes interact with the medical equipment. Price tags placed on the machines highlight the investment required to bring them to Parkview.

“These events increase people’s awareness of the impact donors can make,” explains McElwee. “The Foundation is the bridge between the generosity of our donors and the Parkview patients and their families who can benefit from their generous spirit.”

The Parkview Foundation also operates locally in each of the communities it serves, and supporters can feel gratified in knowing their donations remain local.

“All monies raised in our different communities stay in those communities,” says McElwee. “Those funds are going right back assisting patients in their local hospitals.”

McElwee wants people to understand that the Parkview Foundation exists to help the community. It’s a vehicle for people to invest in the community’s long-term well-being, and no matter the size of the gift, he notes, one person can very literally change lives for the better.

“It may sound trite, but it’s true,” he says. “We can’t do it without you.”

*G-EO Evolution is a trademark of Reha Technology.

Parkview Foundations

General Manager: Tim McElwee, senior vice president

Address: 10622 Parkview Plaza Drive Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845



Products & Services: The mission of The Foundations of Parkview Health is to inspire the generous spirit of our community that brings gifts of healing and comfort to everyone Parkview serves. Parkview Health believes generosity significantly aids in the healing of, and caring for, each patient and family. Every donor serves their community through their gifts. Contributions to the Parkview Foundations are vital for Parkview Health to continue meeting the changing health needs of the region.

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