As a 10-year-old girl, Sandy Moore had her first experience with Barnes-Jewish Hospital when her father had a heart attack at age 51. “In my young mind, Barnes-Jewish Hospital was a savior for my dad,” she says. “I remember the staff was so genuine and caring as they let a scared little girl visit her father.”
A few decades later, Sandy joined The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital board. “I was asked to join by a person I greatly admired,” she says. “I knew his deep commitment to civic engagement and to making our city better.”
That person was the late S. Lee Kling. Before Lee passed away in 2008, he had held leadership roles in the military, government and politics and served on countless corporate and charitable boards, including as chair of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
“I looked at The Foundation’s work and reflected on what the hospital and Washington University School of Medicine have meant to me, my husband and my children,” Sandy says. “I felt I owed it to the hospital to put my shoulder to the wheel, and I wanted to go out into the community to tell the good story of the hospital. I’m not wealthy—my largest contributions are my willingness to work hard and to stand up for what’s right.”
Closing the Health Care Gaps
Even as a child, Sandy was driven to help others. “At age 11, I started volunteering in a nursing home every Saturday,” she says. “My mom thought all moments should be filled with a purpose. Growing up, I knew I wanted to work on things that would make the world better. My goal has since been to work on transformative projects that have a broad impact.”
Sandy’s drive led her to a career in public interest law. She later served as director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and as senior vice president of St. Louis 2004, an initiative to improve St. Louis’ long-term quality of life that included better access to health care. In 2000, Sandy became president of Urban Strategies Inc., the not-for-profit partner of the nationally recognized community redeveloper, McCormack Baron Salazar. Urban Strategies sets up social and educational services and programs in communities across the country where McCormack Baron has projects.
Sandy brings this valuable insight to the Foundation board. “I’m proud that I can lend my experience in the community to the board and can contribute to making things better,” Sandy says. “I see firsthand what the most vulnerable people in the community need. I see the impact of unhealthy lifestyles, and the lack of understanding about how to access health care. I can help close the gaps by encouraging that we put resources where they’re needed most.”
Barnes-Jewish Hospital faces many challenges today in meeting the community’s needs. However, the hospital strives to meet these challenges by reaching out to underserved community residents, helping patients better understand their medical care through health literacy programs, and other initiatives and programs.
About 17 percent of St. Louis city families use a primary language other than English in the home. Through the hospital’s interpreter services, interpreters are available 24 hours a day at no charge for patients and family members who need help with spoken and sign language communication. The hospital can provide interpretation in 36 languages on campus and numerous other languages via telephone services.
The hospital also provides cross-cultural consultation for patients and staff and reaches out to the deaf, refugee and immigrant communities, providing health screenings and education. But Barnes-Jewish is always working to do more.
Sandy says her goal is to be a good translator between the community and the hospital. “I’m taking the message into the community of what the hospital and The Foundation can do. I want to break down fears, barriers and misconceptions and take back to the board the worries and concerns of the community.”
For example, low-income adults face two major barriers to successful employment: the lack of jobs and the lack of health, Sandy says. “In distressed areas of the community, illness is the norm. When a family member is chronically sick, it becomes difficult for the caregiver or the sick person to work. Helping them become healthier opens doors.”
Preserving the Health of the Community
Sandy is proud that Barnes-Jewish Hospital is taking a leadership role in making the community better. “Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine are two of our biggest assets in St. Louis,” she says. “As a donor, I feel good about contributing to something bigger that results in longstanding change. Nothing is more important than preserving the health of our community.”