UF Health employee giving program returns

Comprised of nearly 900 expert UF College of Medicine and area physicians and more than 10,000 UF Health Shands support staff, it takes everyone in the UF Health community to deliver the high level of service and care that make this the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center.

After a two-year hiatus, UF Health Shands employees and UF College of Medicine faculty and staff have come together to celebrate this unique culture of community and philanthropy with the return of the employee giving campaign, Raising Hope at Work.

Over the last decade, collective giving from the campaign has supported a variety of initiatives, including Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovations, capital projects like the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building and programs like UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine.

For the campaign’s return, the focus was participation. The campaign exceeded goals with several units achieving 100% participation. Led and cheered on by staff volunteers, also known as team “Champions”, departments and units throughout the hospital came together in the spirit of giving.

Erika Kerkhoff, UF Health Business Development administrative associate, served as team champion for her department. Her leadership and enthusiasm helped fuel high participation among her colleagues.

“With 100% participation from business development, we can make a difference by investing in the programs and services we are most passionate about,” Kerkhoff said.

This year’s campaign also emphasized personalized giving, as the full list of UF Health Shands and UF College of Medicine funds was made available. Employees could then choose to give to areas that meant the most to them. Employees took full advantage of those options, with 196 funds receiving donations, to date.

Some employees gave to specific funds that touched them or a loved one personally, and others gave to UF Health’s Area of Greatest Need fund, a general fund that provides UF Health spending flexibility on pressing needs.

Misty Taylor, a value analysis coordinator in for UF Health Shands Purchasing, had a special reason for choosing her fund.

“The Pulmonary Medicine Cystic Fibrosis Research Fund is directly linked to the latest medications and treatments for cystic fibrosis,” Taylor said. “This group of doctors and researchers are directly responsible for adding years to their patients’ lives and drastically increasing the quality of their patients’ lives. I’ve seen first-hand how deeply dedicated this team is and the immediate impact they have on the people in their care, as they care for my 12-year-old son who has cystic fibrosis.”

This year’s campaign was co-chaired by Traci d’Auguste, UF Health Shands chief operating officer and Timothy Morey, M.D., a professor and chair of the UF College of Medicine department of anesthesiology. “We’re grateful that so many employees have chosen to contribute to the unique culture of community and philanthropy here at UF Health Shands and the UF College of Medicine,” d’Auguste said. “I’m very proud of all we’ve achieved together – meeting unprecedented challenges and setting new benchmarks in the quality of care to better serve our patients.”