Gentry Wealth June/July 2013 : Page 28

icons BY ROBIN HINDERY Heart and Soul When it comes to Sequoia Hospital’s future—and past—success, a champion like Gloria Kennett is just what the doctor ordered. H ospitals are places of con-tinuous change. Patients —and many staff mem-bers—come and go, build-ings are reconfigured, and old equipment is replaced by new technologies. At Redwood City’s Sequoia Hospital, however, there does seem to be one constant: Gloria Kennett. The Bay Area native and newly elected chair of the Sequoia Hospital Founda-tion’s board of directors has been closely involved with the nonprofit community hospital for much of its 63-year history. Her late husband, William Kennett, MD, began his career in obstetrics and gyne-cology at Sequoia in 1951, the year after it opened. In 1984, the Kennetts, along with friends, founded the Sequoia Hospital Foundation in an effort to “ensure access to the latest technology and equipment,” Gloria says. Her term as board chair doesn’t begin until July 1, but Ken-nett has already set the bar extremely high by helping to secure the hospital’s largest-ever single gift: a $2.5 million challenge grant from Bay Area resident and Sequoia patient Lorry Lokey (one of Gentry ’s Top 50 Philanthropists of 2013). The newly announced donation will cap the hospital’s $20 million New Sequoia Hospital campaign, of which Kennett served as co-chair. That money will help fund the hospital’s new, state-of-the-art patient pavilion, scheduled to open this fall. With her latest role, Kennett has come full circle since the days when she and Bill sought to raise money for the hospital by organizing the foundation’s first Invitational Golf Tourna-ment at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, where they were members. An instant success, the tournament will cele-brate its 29th year this September. “Gloria has been the heart and soul of this foundation for longer than many of us can remember,” said JoAnn Kemist, president of the foundation, upon announcing Kennett’s selec-tion as chair. “Sequoia Hospital has been a home-away-from-home for PHOTO: JACKHUTCH.COM my family for nearly 60 years,” says Ken-nett, a mother of six (and grandmother to at least a half-dozen “Sequoia babies”). “Bill and I believed strongly in the people, the programs, and the work being done here, and I have committed myself to working to make sure that Sequoia Hospi-tal is always here when friends, family, and neighbors need excellent care.” That commitment includes the Dr. Wil-liam Kennett Memorial Nursing Scholar-ship Program, which Gloria established following her husband’s death in 2004. “I wanted to do something in memory of him,” she shared recently at her Atherton home. “At the time, there was a nursing shortage, so I decided to address that. The first year, we gave one scholarship, the second year we gave three, and as of last year, we had given out 53, with another $400,000 set aside for an endowment.” The donation from Lokey is certainly a handsome feather in Kennett’s cap as incoming board chair, but her work is far from over. “Everything we do and hope to do at the hospital costs money,” she laughs. Next up is the campaign for a reno-vated, redesigned, and expanded birth center. The foundation’s Cirque du Sequoia event on June 21 will raise money to support that effort. When the new medical campus opens later this year, it will be Kennett who wields the giant scissors at the ceremonial rib-bon-cutting—an honor that befits someone who has con-tributed so much to the hospital’s success. (Sequoia was ranked one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2013 by HealthGrades, the leading independent health care ratings company.) Kennett is quick to deflect praise, insisting that she is just one member of a large team of people working to further the hospital’s mission to provide innovative and exceptional health care. The motivation driving all her hard work is simple, says Kennett, who also is actively involved with Peninsula Volun-teers, Inc., and the San Francisco Symphony. “I have always felt great joy and satisfaction working in the community.” N GW x 28

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Robin Hindery

Heart and Soul

When it comes to Sequoia Hospital’s future—and past—success, a champion like Gloria Kennett is just what the doctor ordered.

Hospitals are places of continuous change. Patients —and many staff members—come and go, buildings are reconfigured, and old equipment is replaced by new technologies. At Redwood City’s Sequoia Hospital, however, there does seem to be one constant: Gloria Kennett.

The Bay Area native and newly elected chair of the Sequoia Hospital Foundation’s board of directors has been closely involved with the nonprofit community hospital for much of its 63-year history. Her late husband, William Kennett, MD, began his career in obstetrics and gynecology at Sequoia in 1951, the year after it opened. In 1984, the Kennetts, along with friends, founded the Sequoia Hospital Foundation in an effort to “ensure access to the latest technology and equipment,” Gloria says.

Her term as board chair doesn’t begin until July 1, but Kennett has already set the bar extremely high by helping to secure the hospital’s largest-ever single gift: a $2.5 million challenge grant from Bay Area resident and Sequoia patient Lorry Lokey (one of Gentry’s Top 50 Philanthropists of 2013). The newly announced donation will cap the hospital’s $20 million New Sequoia Hospital campaign, of which Kennett served as cochair. That money will help fund the hospital’s new, state-of-the-art patient pavilion, scheduled to open this fall.

With her latest role, Kennett has come full circle since the days when she and Bill sought to raise money for the hospital by organizing the foundation’s first Invitational Golf Tournament at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, where they were members. An instant success, the tournament will celebrate its 29th year this September.

“Gloria has been the heart and soul of this foundation for longer than many of us can remember,” said JoAnn Kemist, president of the foundation, upon announcing Kennett’s selection as chair.

“Sequoia Hospital has been a home-away-from-home for my family for nearly 60 years,” says Kennett, a mother of six (and grandmother to at least a half-dozen “Sequoia babies”). “Bill and I believed strongly in the people, the programs, and the work being done here, and I have committed myself to working to make sure that Sequoia Hospital is always here when friends, family, and neighbors need excellent care.”

That commitment includes the Dr. William Kennett Memorial Nursing Scholarship Program, which Gloria established following her husband’s death in 2004. “I wanted to do something in memory of him,” she shared recently at her Atherton home. “At the time, there was a nursing shortage, so I decided to address that. The first year, we gave one scholarship, the second year we gave three, and as of last year, we had given out 53, with another $400,000 set aside for an endowment.”

The donation from Lokey is certainly a handsome feather in Kennett’s cap as incoming board chair, but her work is far from over. “Everything we do and hope to do at the hospital costs money,” she laughs. Next up is the campaign for a renovated, redesigned, and expanded birth center. The foundation’s Cirque du Sequoia event on June 21 will raise money to support that effort.

When the new medical campus opens later this year, it will be Kennett who wields the giant scissors at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting—an honor that befits someone who has contributed so much to the hospital’s success. (Sequoia was ranked one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2013 by HealthGrades, the leading independent health care ratings company.)

Kennett is quick to deflect praise, insisting that she is just one member of a large team of people working to further the hospital’s mission to provide innovative and exceptional health care. The motivation driving all her hard work is simple, says Kennett, who also is actively involved with Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., and the San Francisco Symphony. “I have always felt great joy and satisfaction working in the community.”

Read the full article at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Icons/1410240/160555/article.html.

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