Mary Schoolman marvels at what she recognizes as the “renaissance” occurring in St. Louis: a nationally recognized medical center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital; one of the greatest green parks in the middle of the city, recently renovated and full of activity; and thriving cultural offerings.
In the Loop district of St. Louis, Mary, a self-proclaimed city-spirited person, and her husband, Steve, work hard each day at their nonprofit to produce multimedia health and prevention curricula for underserved communities across the country. They are also long-time givers to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, another testament to their commitment to reaching communities with much-needed health information and resources.
In 2010, their charitable gift to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation will support the Diabetes Network program of the Diabetes Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, ensuring that its vitally important outreach continues in 2011. (Please see The Heart of Diabetes.)
“We are excited to support the Diabetes Network because it allows Barnes-Jewish to reach out to churches, community centers, and the nooks and crannies where people congregate most within their daily lives, to provide them an opportunity to be tested for diabetes and, if diagnosed, supported in managing their disease,” says Mary.
Much like the vision of Mary and Steve’s nonprofit, the Diabetes Network is driven by its mission to bring information, education and resources to people who otherwise might not realize the importance of regular doctor visits and managing their own specific health needs. The program intent is to empower people with this knowledge that then can be used to educate family and community members.
“The professionals who drive the Diabetes Network work hard to see the person, not the disease. This empathy allows them to provide support to manage a person’s disease in the context of his or her own life, and I appreciate that so much,” says Mary. “It is my commitment as a citizen and community-spirited person to give to programs that have the greatest impact on our community. It is with excitement that we give to the Barnes-Jewish Diabetes Network, so that it has the resources to keep this program a reality.”
In Mary’s perspective, having Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis has profound implications for the city. “Medicine and health are a top priority for all people and because we have such great health care here, St. Louis has a distinction that is truly revitalizing our great city.”