Fostering a Culture of Philanthropy: My Role at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

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My name is Amy Razem, and I have the distinct honor and pleasure of working as an associate major gift officer for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation is the sole fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and raises money to support the hospital’s mission through targeted campaigns, special events, and grants.

Children’s Hospital is sustained by generous community support, both large and small, from individuals, corporations, foundations, and community partners, and I work to coordinate that support! With this support, we aim to improve the health and wellbeing of children through excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.

In my role as an associate major gift officer for the Children’s Foundation, I work with donors who choose to support Children’s — either through their time or their treasure (sometimes both!). I connect these donors with their passions here at Children’s, from the NICU and Nephrology units to our Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy program.

“I connect donors in the community with their passion here at Children’s, from the NICU and Nephrology units to our Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy program.”

Once we connect donors with their areas of interest, I help them see how their generosity makes a direct impact on the mission here at Children’s. My job includes giving donors a tour of the hospital, having them speak with a doctor or director of a certain division, or connecting them with one of our amazing families here at Children’s. It is so rewarding to see a donor’s eyes light up during these interactions when they realize they can make a direct impact. Donors play a very important part in the lives of children through contributing needed resources to fund research, medical care, and all the other incredible life-changing work going on here.

Here at Children’s, we have a staff and a team willing to help connect with these donors. Whether they are explaining their work, saying thank you, or showing tangible examples of what difference funding can make, the nurses, doctors, administrators, and staff of Children’s go above and beyond their job descriptions and duties. It is not hard to foster a culture of philanthropy with the great team at this hospital who are so proud of the mission and work we do.

“It is so rewarding to see a donor’s eyes light up during these interactions when they realize they can make a direct impact in the lives of children through research, medical care, and all the other incredible life-changing work going on here.”

While I’m not in a clinical setting, I do have the chance to get to know patients’ families through working with these different divisions and my work connecting donors — which is by far my favorite part of my job. One story sticks out to me that really showed me how Children’s has cultivated a culture of philanthropy in all of its work and support.

About three years ago, a patient’s mother emailed and a few staff members who were close to her family, including me, to tell us that she and her family were on vacation in California and her son had to be admitted to the local children’s hospital. He has a chronic condition.) The email was time-stamped at about 1:30 a.m., and Mom was writing to tell us that she was in the same clothes she had on when they were admitted three days earlier, because there was no laundry room, and the staff did not offer her even a new t-shirt. She wrote that her son felt like he was “in jail.” She said she wished that they were back in Pittsburgh.

“We are so lucky to have a building filled with the most caring and compassionate people who always put patient-families first.”

I will never forget reading that email and crying at my desk. How lucky are we that we have a facility that offers so many amenities above and beyond the stellar medical care that families have access to? And even more importantly, we are so lucky to have a building filled with the most caring and compassionate people who always put patients’ families first.

It is truly an honor and a pleasure to get to do what I do here at UPMC. This is a mission I believe in and a cause I care deeply about. How lucky I am to be part of this culture of philanthropy here at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC!

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Amy stands in the Moulis Library, home to recreational board books, picture books, and chapter books for children as well as reading materials for teen-aged patients and adult caregivers including novels, current magazines, and a graphic novel collection.


Are you interested in a career at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC? Explore careers in both clinical and nonclinical settings; from therapists and administrators to doctors and development officers, there is a place for YOU! Be part of our mission to provide Life Changing Medicine and join our culture of philanthropy here at Children’s.
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