VMC Physicians honored for philanthropic efforts

P&P2014The VMC Foundation was delighted to honor three physicians for outstanding contributions to philanthropy at the 2nd Annual VMC Foundation Physicians and Philanthropy Awards, held on Tuesday, October 21.

The awards are named for Dr. Robert Violante, the former Chief of Emergency Medicine at VMC, and founding member of the VMC Foundation Board of Directors.

The awards recognize physicians who have gone above and beyond to support and enhance the work of the VMC Foundation, either through their personal giving, fundraising support and programmatic partnership.

The 2014 recipients are as follows –

  • Jim Byrne, M.D., Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Kazuko Shem, M.D., Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinic
  • Phuong Nguyen, M.D., Chief of Gynecology, President of the Medical Staff

Below are highlights from remarks by VMC Foundation Chris Wilder from the awards ceremony.

On Jim Byrne
[quote]For our first recipient, I’d like to recognize someone who has become known as one of our most entrepreneurial partners. My first opportunity to work with this physician occurred many years ago, when he had an idea for a mobile clinic that would bring ultrasound services to pregnant women who live far from our healthcare facilities. I arranged a meeting with one of our most diligent and rigorous individual donors, Dr. TJ Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor, who proceeded to grill this physician about the practicality of his idea and the impact it could have. Well, this physician knocked it out of the park… he made a compelling case, and as a result, we were able to put the Cypress Maternal Outreach Van on the road later that year. [/quote]

On Kazuko Shem
[quote]This physician recently partnered with the VMC Foundation to cultivate a brand new foundation donor, first seeking a small seed grant to pilot a telemedicine program, and then receiving an invitation from the foundation to apply for a multi-year grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to expand the program. She has led the grant process with grace and patience, giving so much of her time and energy to launching the program, and it has been our pleasure to partner with her in this effort which offers an exciting new element of care for discharged rehab patients. Plus, she has been a long-time donor to the VMC Foundation. [/quote]

On Phuong Nguyen
[quote]I feel compelled to mention that this physician has a long history of extremely generous personal donations to the VMC Foundation. She was one of the very first physicians to sign up as a donor with our Give a Booster Shot campaign and she is one of our top physician contributors to date. But beyond her personal donations, this physician stuns us by leading her department at VMC to nearly 100% participation in annual donations to the VMC Foundation. She is consistently our champion and cheerleader, both inside VMC and within the community. [/quote]