With their gifts that established the Clark Center for Critical Care Medicine and the Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, visionary benefactors Dick and Angela Clark are steadfast supporters of Doylestown Health. In partnership with their daughters, Kelly and Lisa, the Clark family recently made a transformational gift through their foundation to create the Clark Center for Breast Imaging at Doylestown Hospital.
Kelly: A couple of years ago my husband, Dave, had a sore throat and just wasn’t feeling right. Our primary doctor referred us to specialists who were members of the Doylestown Health Medical Staff. Their quick diagnosis of the situation, and the emergency surgery that followed, saved his life.
Watching that unfold was so scary. They were literally running through the hallways. Yet to see how quickly the emergency and surgical teams coordinated and communicated every step of the way is remarkable. It shows why it’s so important to expand the surgical suites and keep space available for emergency surgery. It was a terrifying experience, but how everyone—from the doctors and nurses, to the support staff—handled it with excellence and compassion made a difference. They were incredibly kind and supportive to me as well. They saved Dave’s life and we’ll forever be indebted to Doylestown Hospital.
Dick: My father was a patient in the Doylestown Hospital ICU and then at the Health Center at Pine Run Retirement Community for several years. He got exceptional and compassionate care until the day he passed. In fact, we are still in touch with his caregivers. As for the rest of us, you could say we have season tickets to Doylestown Hospital! Angie and I have both had physical therapy, among many other services, and the therapists are just incredible.
Dick: In my career, I’ve been to hospitals around the world, and I can say we have some of the best care anywhere right here in Doylestown. Doylestown Health is exceptionally well run. They’ve remained focused on their mission while they’ve grown. Angie and I believe in this hospital and our confidence continues to grow.
During the early days of the pandemic, the dedication and motivation of everyone at Doylestown Health was exceptional. They were so far advanced with leading research and applying innovative therapies to treat COVID-19. The compassion from nurses and staff was truly remarkable and it just validates everything that the hospital is doing.
There is no medical institution more powerful than Doylestown Health, and my family is here today because of it.
Angie: The giving tree has always been a special symbol to me and my family. We have our family tree art, and images and sculptures of giving trees, displayed throughout our home. The giving tree has many meanings, from giving life and vitality to providing for others. It also signifies that however we grow and change, we are always connected and rooted in our values of giving to others.
Angie: We were involved in volunteering from the time the girls were little, at church and for other organizations. I volunteered weekly with Kelly and Lisa at Meals on Wheels when they were old enough. Dick and I have been fortunate in our lives, and we’ve always felt it’s so important to reach out and help others however we can.
Kelly: Volunteering was ingrained in our family life for as long as I can remember. When Lisa and I were old enough, we took our own shifts three to five days a week at Meals on Wheels. We visited with the elderly or people with disabilities who were unable to provide for their nutritional needs. It’s a great feeling to know that you can make a difference in one person’s life. It’s also a two-way street. We learned so much from the people we met.
Lisa: We each have our areas of interest and many of the projects we choose to support are things that have affected us personally or through our work.
Kelly: We’ve also formalized our process over the years. We research projects individually and the four of us sit around the table to vet and discuss our findings. You’d better know your stuff because Dick Clark is tough! In all seriousness, we want to know the organization is going to use the money wisely and how our investment will benefit the people and community the organization serves.
Lisa: Whether through our example, or their personalities in general, the kids want to jump in and help. With my son we’ve been involved in food drives and back-to-school supply drives, and he’s aware of how he can take steps to make a difference. I think they all have a giving spirit and try to help others where and when they can.
Kelly: Last summer my then-12-year-old had an interest in a cause. I encouraged her to do research and learn more. She came back with a budget and the information we needed to discuss her idea. By beginning early, our kids will see that they can make a difference, too. One of the things my father says is, “It’s great and good now, but what’s going to happen three or four generations from now?” That’s why we’re involved together, and the kids can continue to make an impact for the future.
Kelly: I have master’s degrees in social work and business administration and spent a large part of my career as a nursing home social worker. I’ve been in many healthcare settings, and unfortunately there is often a tendency to almost dehumanize people by referring to them by room or bed numbers. Patients are people. When you take time to listen and hear their stories, it does have an impact on their well-being.
At Doylestown Health, the patients as human beings come first. Lisa and I especially appreciated the Breast Center team’s comprehensive approach to caring for the patients, and their professionalism and credentials are impressive. We all thought the concept for the relocated and expanded facility was phenomenal, from the smallest architectural and design details to improving the patient experience.
Lisa: With my experience working in community mental health as a licensed professional counselor, I’m encouraged that the new design will create a more comfortable experience for the patient, both physically and emotionally. All the Clark women appreciate it, actually! Doylestown Health also helps patients who are underinsured to get access to care and offers services to individuals who can’t otherwise afford necessary care.
Kelly: I agree with changing the name from “Women’s Diagnostics” to “Breast Imaging.” I think it’s really encouraging for community members who might say, “I can go there and get the care that I need.” If the focus is solely on women, then some people may think, “It’s not for me.” So, I think it makes the care even more approachable and welcoming.
Dick: Several years ago, our focus shifted to organizations where our involvement and investments can have the biggest impact. When Angie, Lisa, Kelly, and I thought more about it, we determined that we could “go local” and have the greatest impact investing in local organizations and charities we’ve had relationships with. It doesn’t mean that larger, national organizations aren’t doing great work. It’s just that for us, we saw that we could really make the biggest difference on a more local level in our community.
Kelly: Among many reasons, we don’t always have to travel into Philadelphia to get excellent care. Doylestown Hospital and the health system are offering more specialties now. They invest in the community and make healthcare accessible for our most vulnerable populations, including elderly people or people with chronic illness and disabilities for whom longer distance travel is more challenging.
It’s a relief to stay in your own community when you don’t feel your best, and your family can be by your side when you need them most.
Dick: There is an incredible culture and an overall commitment to excellence. The medical staff, volunteers, and leadership embrace the community in every aspect of what they do. As I mentioned, Angie and I have been in academic medical centers throughout the world. Doylestown Health invests in excellence and in doing so, it also invests in sustaining this special culture. The leadership also takes its responsibility to the community of Doylestown, and now the region, very seriously. We are proud to be involved in this campaign. The pandemic showed us that this caliber of medical care supported by this unique culture is something we can’t take for granted.
Angie: It’s also the comfort and caring that attracts the four of us, and our family, to support Doylestown Health. We want it to be here for future generations of our family and our community.
Kelly: I’m 47 years old and I know people even in their 50s and 60s who have never had a mammogram. They may have delayed it because they’re embarrassed or triggered by the experience, or even scared. When we can spread the word about the amazing care in a new, lovely setting and how streamlined and convenient it is, I think people will be more likely to go for screenings and diagnostics. When we reach more people, we will save more lives.
As the philanthropic arm of Doylestown Health, the Doylestown Health Foundation raises funds to safeguard the future of excellence in patient care and improves the quality of life for all members of our Central Bucks County community and beyond.
Powered by philanthropic investments, the relocation and expansion of the Women’s Diagnostic Center at Doylestown Hospital is now underway. Upon completion in the spring of 2022, the newly named Clark Center for Breast Imaging will occupy 5,000 square feet—adding capacity to serve an additional 2,500 patients. The Center currently serves more than 17,000 patients throughout the region annually.
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