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CEO's Message - Spotlight on Giving

David J. Martin, CAE

Since our founding in 1970, the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) mission has been to secure the highest-quality care for all critically ill and injured patients. But achieving this ambitious goal is not possible without two important elements: engaged volunteers and sustainable financial support.

While you may know that SCCM is blessed with over 1,800 volunteers, you may not realize that last year over 4,000 members also made cash donations to SCCM. As you might suspect, some of our biggest donors are also some of our most engaged volunteer members. I recently asked a few of them why they are so generous with both their time and their hard-earned money.

The most frequent answer revolved around a lifetime devoted to improving care of critically ill patients. Certainly, SCCM members have dedicated their lives to the care of the sickest patients. But a few have taken this dedication to new heights, not only working to improve processes of care at their institutions, but also volunteering at SCCM on committees that develop and provide education, produce clinical practice guidelines, and focus on training to care for patients who do not have access to certified critical care providers. These same members also donate cash in areas in which they find the need most pressing. These areas include Fundamentals training in resource-limited areas both at home and abroad, research, quality improvement initiatives that affect patients with post-intensive care syndrome, and of course, research and education related to our old nemesis, sepsis.

Last year, SCCM began an exciting new phase of growth that calls for the creation of a larger, more structured, and innovative donor development and gift stewardship program. This new effort focuses on expanding fundraising to grateful patients, family members, private foundations, corporations, and others, as well as growing our traditional member donor base. Already we have seen several corporations and family foundations step up to the plate to join us in these endeavors.

Last year also saw our biggest—perhaps our only—unplanned fundraising activity when hurricanes struck the southeast United States and the Caribbean. Donations of cash and supplies of all types poured into SCCM so that we could mount a response to help the people affected by the storms. When word went out that the pediatric hospitals and clinics in Puerto Rico were in dire need, SCCM members and friends responded vigorously. Tens of thousands of dollars were received, allowing SCCM to purchase needed medical supplies and equipment. And thousands of packages of supplies arrived at our offices for repackaging and distribution to the hard-hit island pediatric community. For these efforts, SCCM received awards from the Institute of Medicine of Chicago and the American Society of Association Executives. These recognitions would not have been possible without the generous support of the SCCM donor community. To all who donated, our greatest possible thanks!

Won’t you consider joining with SCCM and providing a donation of whatever amount you can afford? It’s simple and safe to donate at our website sccm.org/donate, and every gift helps move us a step closer to our goals, allowing SCCM to do even more. Thank you.