Donor Profiles

Click on the name to read each profile

Carnegie Mellon University – Community Fundraiser

Carnegie Mellon University has donated proceeds from their annual Greek Sing event for the past three years. This amazing event does much more than showcase the Greek Community’s musical talent – last year alone it raised $74,000 for our amazing kids and families! Greek Sing is Carnegie Mellon University’s largest student-run annual fundraising event and is hosted by the university’s fraternities and sororities. The original goal was to raise $150,000 during the course of a four-year commitment to The Children’s Institute. $42,000 was raised in the first year and $55,000 in the second year. With this year’s effort, they have already surpassed their goal with a total raised of $171,000 – making the Carnegie Mellon University’s Greek Community AMAZING donors! 

Highmark Foundation – Corporate Gift

Highmark Foundation supports our Family-Centered Care Coordination initiative. “The Children’s Institute is operating at a high level in its efforts to transform service delivery. This new initiative in care coordination can only result in positive outcomes for children, families and the health care system,” says Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook.

She is explaining why the Foundation has chosen to provide generous support for The Children’s Institute’s Family-Centered Care Coordination initiative. (Please see the lead story in this issue.) The 26-month proof-of-concept initiative is designed to demonstrate how coordinated, collaborative, communicative care can improve the health of kids with medical complexity—and, along the way, improve the health care system and help control costs.

Highmark Foundation is familiar with The Children’s Institute’s rigorous needs assessment and strategic planning processes that resulted in the initiative. “To us,” says Yvonne Cook, “that means the organization has done its due diligence: you’ve looked at your population, you’ve identified service delivery gaps, and you know how your own strengths can allow you to fill those gaps and ensure that children get exactly what they need.”

Strengthening service delivery systems is one of Highmark Foundation’s four areas of focus. The others are chronic disease, family health and healthy communities. Coordination of care for kids with medical complexity has typically been the responsibility of families—but many families don’t have the expertise or the time needed to coordinate care effectively. When that happens, the health of the children can suffer—and health care costs can rise.

Supporting families with expert care coordination represents transformative change in service delivery.

“We fund pilots and proof-of-concept initiatives because we’re always interested in seeing whether positive results can be reproduced elsewhere,” says Yvonne Cook.

She adds, “We know that The Children’s Institute is expert at coordinating care for their medically complex inpatients, so it’s logical for them to move to working with outpatients. They have the thought leadership, the passion, and the commitment to do this right—and we believe the new initiative has the potential to become a powerful replicable model.”

Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit www.highmarkfoundation.org.

Jim and June Chamberlain – Individual Gift

Jim and June Chamberlain haven’t lived in Pittsburgh for decades, but they haven’t forgotten about our amazing kids at The Children’s Institute. Jim was introduced through his employer, US Steel, when the company decided to donate to The Children’s Institute in the 1970s. Ever since, Jim and June have been making a gift to our amazing kids every other month! They shared, “we are thankful for all that The Children’s Institute does for the children and their families’, and are glad we can share in the excellent work that is done.” This generous act makes Jim and June Chamberlain amazing donors.

Joseph F. Falgione – Planned Gift

Joseph F. Falgione and his late wife Donna first encountered The Children’s Institute in the early 1960s when their son, Jason, enrolled at The Day School. Jason is on the autism spectrum. Donna, a reference librarian, soon began volunteering in The Children’s Institute’s library, reading stories to young patients. Along the way, she shared her experiences with Joe, a music librarian who ultimately became associate director of the Carnegie Library system. Jason thrived at The Day School, where his considerable musical talent was nurtured. As part of his pre-graduation transition planning, he worked in Materials Management. Hired full-time soon after graduation, he still works there each day, checking in and distributing supplies and equipment. “Everyone thinks well of Jason; he’s a great person and a reliable worker,” says Materials Management Coordinator David Wahl. Today Jason, 50, lives independently. He’s an accomplished musician, playing piano, organ, and clarinet in community and church groups. Joe and Jason are great Pirates fans, often traveling across the country for games and to Bradenton for spring training. Are they happy about the most recent season? Joe laughs and says, “It’s about time!” Joe and Donna moved to Longwood at Oakmont, where they arranged appearances by musicians and speakers. The family believes in the value of volunteering, and Joe, Donna and Jason also reached out to several retirement homes in the area, presenting popular monthly singalong events. Joe and Donna were longtime regular donors to The Children’s Institute’s Annual Fund—and, not long ago, Joe made a generous planned gift. Why? “The Children’s Institute never just sits back,” says Joe. “They work hard to anticipate what kids will need and then they make it happen. We’ve always been pleased to support them, and I want that to continue after we’re both gone.”

Pirates Charities – Corporate Gift

Pirates Charities are generous supporters of The Children’s Institute, raising approximately $260,000 for the organization over the past three years. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle, whose young daughter has Prader-Willi syndrome, brought the Wins for Kids program with him when he joined the Pirates’ organization in 2010. Each season since then, fans pledge a dollar amount for every Pirates’ win, and the funds are shared between Pirates Charities and The Children’s Institute. Wins for Kids supports our The Children’s Institute’s Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome. The Pirates’ support of The Children’s Institute doesn’t stop there. Last December, Pirates Charities presented The Children’s Institute with a $200,000 grant from the proceeds of the annual Pirates Auction on ROOT SPORTS, a live on-air auction at PNC Park in August. This generous grant was used over the last year to support The Children’s Institute’s Centers of Excellence, including specialized programs for Prader-Willi syndrome, acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, and autism. There’s even more – for the past two years, the Pirates have hosted The Day School’s entire senior class for a VIP experience at a spring game. Pirates Charities has been an Amazing Donor to our amazing kids.

Staff Giving - Individual Gifts

Through this year’s Staff Giving Campaign, many of our wonderful staff members gave to The Children’s Institute. These gifts magnify the contributions they make in their daily work while uniting and strengthening our community. Their gifts help amazing kids and families and serve as a reminder that every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference. They are a testament to the caring and supportive nature of this amazing place.

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