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Creating a Legacy
How employees can be a part of the Johns Hopkins Family Campaign.

blank Katie Bell
Jeanne Keruly's work inspired her to give.

Jeanne Keruly knows the consequences of HIV-infected patients skipping their medications, if even for a couple of days. To make sure patients seen at Johns Hopkins’ Moore Clinic get the antiretroviral therapies they need, Keruly, a nurse practitioner in Infectious Diseases, and some of her colleagues routinely give to a departmental fund, established for patients without financial resources or health insurance, to purchase the drugs without any red tape.

Pathology administrator Al Valentine contributes to a lymphoma research fund created in memory of his wife, Joan, a popular Johns Hopkins microbiologist, who passed away three years ago from the disease.

Keruly and Valentine are among about 1,500 faculty and staff who give financial support to Johns Hopkins Medicine. They say it’s their responsibility to give back and to help the institution achieve its mission of patient care, education and research.  Many employees’ gifts have been contributed through Johns Hopkins’ Knowledge for the World campaign, a multibillion-dollar, systemwide fund-raising initiative that ends this year, after a successful seven-year run. Organizers for The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine are hoping to reenergize those donors and attract new ones, with its newest employee giving program called the Johns Hopkins Family Campaign.

The campaign, which represents the final phase of Knowledge for the World, was launched on May 19—the birthday of Baltimore businessman Johns Hopkins, who bequeathed $7 million to establish the University and Hospital 119 years ago last month.  The campaign will end in October.

“It was the right thing to do,” says Steve Rum, associate vice president of development, who has been tapping alumni, grateful patients, and philanthropists to reach Knowledge for the World’s $3.2 billion goal. “Employees wanted to know, Can we be a part?”

Unlike many campaigns, which raise money for specific projects, such as a new building or scholarships, the Family Campaign allows employees to give to any department, unit, or project within Johns Hopkins Medicine, Rum explains.

Letters and contribution forms explaining the campaign have recently been distributed to Johns Hopkins Medicine employees’ campus mailboxes. 

Faculty and staff can give as little as $10.42 per biweekly paycheck, over a two-year period, to reach the $500 minimum. They also may contribute by check, credit card, or online through the Family Campaign Web site (see below).

Donors will receive an inscribed silver lapel pin as a thank-you, but evidence of their contribution will be longer lasting. Their names will be permanently etched on a legacy wall to be displayed in the new Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower when it is completed in 2011. The Johns Hopkins Bayview campus will have a similar wall erected to recognize participating employees. 

Having their name on the donor wall will motivate some employees to write a check. But Valentine insists, “It’s all about remembering and honoring Joan.” He set up his wife’s fund through the oncology department the year following her death. To date, approximately 200 families, friends and colleagues have contributed to the fund.

Now Valentine will encourage the 1,300 faculty and staff he works with to create their own legacy through individual or team contributions. The grassroots effort of units working to support programs of their choice, he says, is a “good way for people to contribute without burdening any single staff member.”          

An assistant professor in medicine and director of the Ryan White Services, which provide resources for the uninsured, Keruly is very specific with her donations.

She regularly contributes a portion of her salary to cover “gap purchases.” Half of the patients who come to the AIDS clinic don’t have insurance to cover their medications, which can cost $12,000 a year. For others, their insurance may have lapsed, their health care plan may not cover their medicines or they may have lost their prescriptions.

“There’s a lot of need in the community,” says Keruly, “and a lot of opportunity to give back.”                                  

— JA

For more information about the Family Campaign and to be part of the legacy, visit



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