Multi-million dollar estate gift helps Parkland build relationships
The names Alice Smith, MD, and Parkland Health & Hospital System are synonymous for many people in the faith and health community of Dallas. For more than 60 years Dr. Smith cared for patients at Parkland and thanks to a generous gift from her estate, the late physician’s legacy will continue.
Dr. Smith’s gift, totaling more than $2 million to Parkland Foundation, has allowed Parkland’s Pastoral Care department to create the new Faith Health Initiative. The goal of the program is to build robust relationships between Parkland and congregations of all faiths. This will be achieved through four core principles:
• Access to the right door – helping patients understand how they can obtain preventive care versus visiting the emergency department
• Access at the right time – educating patients to seek care sooner, rather than waiting until their illness or disease has progressed
• Ready to be treated – understanding what is needed for the patient’s appointment, and the necessary information about medications
• Not alone – having someone to support the patient as they navigate the health system
“Dr. Smith was a dedicated Baptist lay woman and very interested in her own faith,” said Linda Wilkerson, Parkland’s director of Pastoral Care. “Part of her faith was caring ‘for the least of these,’ by making sure the people of Dallas County had access to healthcare, no matter who they were or what their circumstances might be.”
Wilkerson added that Dr. Smith was a huge supporter of pastoral care, partly due to what she witnessed when President John F. Kennedy was brought to Parkland in 1963. At that time Parkland did not have a Pastoral Care department and the experience made Dr. Smith realize how critical it is to have spiritual care in the hospital. She championed the cause from that moment forward.
“I can’t express enough the deep gratitude we have for the life of Dr. Alice Smith, for her commitment both to her faith and to Parkland, and the utter generosity of this gift to us,” Wilkerson said. “We hope this initiative’s work will honor her life.”
For additional information on the Faith Health Initiative, please contact Linda Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Parkland Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.istandforparkland.org. For information about Parkland services, please visit www.parklandhospital.com