AdventHealth Foundation’s Kristen McCall has individual experience to apply to her ‘day job’

For the last 13 years, Kristen McCall has been a leader in health care philanthropy in the Tampa Bay area, starting with her work for All Children’s Hospital then her leadership at the American Heart Association Tampa Bay to her current role as regional vice president for the AdventHealth Foundation West Florida. Working in philanthropy is a professional vocation, McCall believes, but sometimes that calling becomes personal.

“When you work in fundraising, for a not-for-profit, it’s ingrained in us to be passionate about our mission and organization. The difference we make as we serve our community. But when you actually live it, when you directly experience the mission in action, it gives you a deeper perspective on the life-changing potential of giving,” she says.

McCall was three years into her role at AdventHealth and the expectant mother, of her first child, when she went into early labor at 34 weeks. She and her husband were living “every parent’s nightmare” as their premature daughter was sent to the natal intensive care unit with complications after McCall gave birth at the AdventHealth Tampa hospital. Yet McCall and her family felt profoundly supported, from the professional expertise of her daughter’s physical care to the emotional support provided by the chaplain, who made special rounds just to check on her daughter.

As McCall remembers, “It was so comforting to experience this extra layer of care, this peace around our daughter. I experienced, firsthand, the impact of our mission and ministry department, because it really sets AdventHealth apart. By offering emotional, and spiritual, support in times of the greatest physical need, they’re in the trenches just like our doctors and nurses and they really move the ship of care in a meaningful and uplifting way.”

AdventHealth is one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States, with 50 hospitals, and hundreds of care centers, across nine states. Central to its core mission—to extend the healing ministry of Christ by offering whole-person health care to all, regardless of financial circumstances—AdventHealth Foundation helps make this mission possible through donations and fundraising activities.

“We’re growing our footprint throughout Florida,” McCall says, “so it’s a really an exciting time to be a part of our organization. One of the reasons that I’m proud to work for AdventHealth is that we do not turn anyone away, no matter their ability to pay or not. And so that’s really why our foundation raises critical dollars, for those patients and members of our community who need it most.”

Medical care that also cares for the dignity of the individual by supporting the person with physical, mental and spiritual care: that’s the AdventHealth difference. The AdventHealth Foundation funds many of these “extra” services, like the Care Closet, which was started by chaplains at AdventHealth Tampa.

As McCall explains, “some of our patients come in with only the clothes on their backs. Our foundation is fortunate to help fund this program, which provides clothing for them to go home in or resources for them to transition back to their lives. We never think of it as simply a discharge from the hospital—we look at the whole person and help them transition to home in a way that is better when they arrived.” The foundation also provides funding for car seats for new parents in need who otherwise can’t afford them, rides for patients who don’t have vehicles so they can get to follow-up appointments once discharged, or free 12-week cancer survivorship programs.

During the most difficult time of the pandemic, the AdventHealth Foundation rallied to support hospital personnel as well.

“We know our care teams best care for patients when they’re well cared for,” McCall says.

One new initiative was Notes of Encouragement, where the local community was invited to share words of gratitude to health care workers in “notes” read aloud during station meetings. The foundation also supported in-kind donations of meals, snacks and morale packages from local businesses. During the peak of the pandemic, AdventHealth chaplains also coordinated bedside virtual visits for family members to stay connected to their loved ones, despite quarantine regulations. Finally, the foundation created the Community Care Fund to support needs directly arising from COVID-19, such as rapid test analyzers.

The foundation also contributes to keeping AdventHealth at the cutting edge of medical technology by funding new equipment or projects. They recently funded $21 million for the state-of-the-art Taneja Center for Surgery, a six-floor tower of compassionate and innovative surgical care that recently opened at their Tampa hospital. As McCall sums up, “AdventHealth Foundation is a first responder from the philanthropic side, both for our patients and our larger community.”

Like any not-for-profit, donors are an integral part to their continued success. For individual donations, every hospital has its own foundation, so prospective donors can personalize their donation to fund a specific hospital or even area of care.

“It’s very important to know that 100% of donor dollars go directly to the intended area; we don’t take one penny from a donation to go toward operating or overhead costs,” explains McCall.

There are many ways to support AdventHealth outside of donations, starting with their annual Starlight Gala on Aug. 21 at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. The theme this year is “Be the Light” and will honor the mission and ministries teams.

Other annual fundraising events include a fishing tournament every spring and a golf tournament in the autumn, with the proceeds of these three signature events divided equally among all the hospitals in the region. Community involvement also is critical to the mission of AdventHealth Foundation, and each hospital works closely with its board of directors for community outreach to best understand the evolving needs of its patient demographic.

As McCall concludes, “we’re a faith-based, not-for-profit hospital, and we passionately believe in treating every patient with dignity. We heal every part of the person not just the physical but the mental and spiritual as well.”

You May Also Like
Success After Service: How Orgs Are Collaborating to Help Veterans Land Better Careers

What I love most about my work with Action Zone is that every day, I get to help veterans build successful and financially rewarding lives when they return to civilian

Read More
Johns Hopkins University
USF to receive $1 million gift from longtime faculty member and his wife

The University of South Florida has announced a $1 million estate gift that will provide scholarships to students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The gift comes from Steven

Read More
Straz Family Foundation gifts $2 million to Metropolitan Ministries

Catherine and Keebler Straz have made a $2 million donation to Metropolitan Ministries, which will provide critical support for families facing homelessness. The gift was facilitated through a collaboration with

Read More
New College of Florida named a best value college for 2024

The Princeton Review has recognized New College of Florida as one of America’s Best Value Colleges for 2024. New College of Florida ranked no. 20 among all public colleges, nationwide

Read More
Other Posts
USF and Florida Institute of Oceanography acquires a ‘Taurus’ for the sea

Researchers at University of South Florida and Florida Institute of Oceanography have acquired an operated vehicle, appropriately named Taurus, for deep sea exploration. Taurus can dive up to 2.5 miles

Read More
Real Estate Quarterly: An update on commercial real estate and office market

By Joanne LeBlanc, vice president at Colliers Office space is not dead. At least not in Tampa. In this market, companies continue to lease office spaces even if they are

Read More
Anthony Martino inducted as president of Hillsborough County Bar Association

Anthony Martino, at Older Lundy Koch & Martino, in Tampa, was sworn in as the new president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. Martino is a civil litigator, with nearly

Read More
Trenam Law opens Sarasota office

Trenam Law opened a new office, in Sarasota, at 1515 Ringling Boulevard. Joining Trenam and the new office as a shareholder is Sarasota-native, Erin Christy. Shareholder Reid Buchanan will also

Read More