Thanks To Beautiful Weather, Celebrating Women Patrons Partied Outdoors As Well As Indoors At Cameron And Clay Smith’s Home

Tuesday, October 24, should have been designated “patron night.” With the Dallas Historical Society’s “Award of Excellence Luncheon” patrons at Mary McDermott Cook’s hilltop nest in west Dallas and The Senior Source’s “Spirit of Generations” at Kathy and Larry Helms’ Park Cities home, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s “Celebrating Women” held forth north of town at Cameron and Clay Smith’s digs.

Barbara Stuart, Cynthia Mitchell and Di Johnston

Thanks to the weather being a step above perfect, the Smith’s backyard terrace accommodated the overflow crowd that had Mercedes, Lexuses and other wonderful wheels parked along all the roads leading to house.

Vinnie Reuben

Gathered on round settee in the living room were back-from-the-northeast Cynthia Mitchell with pals Di Johnston and Barbara Stuart across the way from John Stuart and Vinnie Reuben, who is making her victory lap before moving to California at the end of the year.

Tincy Miller, Mary Ann Cree and Jo Anne McCullough

Tincy Miller, Jo Anne McCullough, Mary Ann Cree, Nancy Carter, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Ann Dyer, Margaret and Lester Keliher with daughter Margaret Keliher Hughes, David Camp and Julia Welborn were in the dining room tasting and talking. Pam Perella was giving rave reviews of the Tom Thumb in Turtle Creek Village to Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates.

Lester Keliher, Margaret Keliher Hughes and Margaret Keliher

And speaking of first lady types, Lindalyn Adams slowly made her way through the crowd. The problems wasn’t her walk. It was that folks kept stopping to talk with her.

Tucker Enthoven and Jim and Kristen Hinton

Pat McEvoy, Ola Fojtasek, Susan Farris, Robin Robinson and Susan McSherry

On the terrace were Julie Ford, Pat McEvoy, Susan McSherry, Richard Shaw, Susan Farris, Julie Ramirez and Kristen Hinton and husband/Baylor Scott and White CEO Jim Hinton were congratulating Celebrating Women Chair Tucker Enthoven for her early sell-out of the fundraiser, while Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson was doing the same for Celebrating Women Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek.

With Pens In Hand, Celebrating Women Luncheon Committee Members Continued The Battle Against Breast Cancer

Around Michal and Lloyd Powell’s dining room table a group of women gathered early on Wednesday, April 5. It wasn’t a gloves-and-hats tea party, nor a brunch. It was a roll-up-the-sleeves session to tackle stacks of letters being sent to friends about the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

The news about keynote speaker Jamie Lee Curtis had been officially announced at Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs’ home the month before.

Margo Goodwin

Pam McCallum

Ola Fojtasek

But today was the putting of pen to paper. Of the group including Luncheon Chair Tucker Enthoven, Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, Lindalyn Adams, Debbie Oates, Margo Goodwin, Pam McCallum, Barbara Stewart and Tucker’s mom Julie Ford around the table, a headcount was asked about how many had actually had breast cancer. Only one or two raised their hands. When asked how many had had a friend or relative hit by breast cancer, the hands dropped their pens and rose around the table.

But thanks to the research and developments in treating breast cancer at Baylor Scott & White as a result of the $28M raised from the 17 years of the luncheon, these ladies were bound and determined to raise much more money for the fear of breast cancer hitting their families or anyone for that matter.

The rest of the day and the following one, more women would arrive at the Powells’ dining table to send the word that cancer can be beaten.

The letters dropped late last week, so if your letter has gone the route of Mars, contact the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Christina Goodman at 214.820.4408

Baylor Health Care System Foundation Luncheon Was The Scene Of Amazing Developments In Physical Rehabilitation

Most folks associate physical rehab with AARP types who are having hips, knees and what all repaired. But on Tuesday, February 9, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board luncheon was filled at Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center to learn about the amazing progress being made dealing with the thousands of spinal cord and traumatic brain (TBI) injuries. Each year Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in partnership with Select Medical Corporation deals with 40,000 patients in their road to recovery.

Patti Foster

Patti Foster

From the invocation by former Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation patient Patti Foster to Baylor Scott and White CEO Joel Allison hinting at what lay ahead, the program was going to run the gamut of personal and breathtaking stories. As Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson advised one guest, “We’ve got Kleenex available.”

And right he was about the need for tissue. From corporate executives to community volunteers like Margo Goodwin, Pryor Blackwell, Nancy Dedman, Lisa Troutt, Richard Holt, Jill Smith, Steve Lieberman, Trisha Wilson, Pierce Allman, Nancy Carter, Kathy Crow, Barry Andrews, Jeff Staubach, Linda Custard and Mike McGuire, all were amazed at what was presented.

Jill Smith, Robin Robinson and Nancy Dedman

Jill Smith, Robin Robinson and Nancy Dedman

Joel Allison and Richard Holt

Joel Allison and Richard Holt

Jeff Staubach, Barry Andrews and Mike McGuire

Jeff Staubach, Barry Andrews and Mike McGuire

First on the program were members of the BIR medical team including physiatrist Dr. Randi Dubiel and clinical researcher Dr. Simon Driver. Randi revealed that traumatic brain injuries have almost become “a kind of epidemic of sorts” with 2.2M victims in the U.S. each year, and 5.2M live with traumatic brain injuries. The BIR team works with the patient to deal with more than the initial physical damage. They work with the patients to adjust to their long-term care and “not just survive their injuries but thrive” in the years to come.

Randi Dubiel

Randi Dubiel

Simon Driver

Simon Driver

Surprising some of the guests, it was revealed that spinal cord and traumatic brain patients have greater problems dealing with obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Simon reported that the research at BIR is “very patient centered.” Involving the patients in the project, he works on the therapy floor with the clinicians to research and develop new techniques to better understand the challenges of the patients. BIR is just one of 16 systems in the country that is recognized as a model system by the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.

Simon told of two projects underway at BIR:

  1. Persons suffering TBI are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease and diabetes than the general population. Those suffering from spinal cord injuries also share this likelihood. BIR is creating a modified weight-loss program incorporating nutrition and physical activity for spinal cord injured patients.
  2. The development of health literacy to provide patients with a better understanding of their health needs. Too often patients may not fully understand or be uncertain of what the doctor said or how they should proceed. This situation is especially true for TBI and spinal cord patients. BIR is placing an emphasis on better communication between the healthcare providers and the patients.

Then the personal testimonies took place, leading off with a young mother who had been on the Orix legal team. In 2010 she and her kids were in a neighbor’s yard pet sitting when a tree fell. Luckily, her children were spared, but the attorney found herself suffering from a devastatingly complete spinal cord injury paralyzing her from the waist down, resulting in her being dependent upon a wheelchair.

Joel Allison, Elizabeth Dane, Jim Thompson and Robin Robinson

Joel Allison, Elizabeth Daane, Jim Thompson and Robin Robinson

Thanks to the BIR team and her bosses at Orix like Jim Thompson, she slowly adapted to this dramatic life-changing development and rejoined the workforce. But the efforts continued and thanks to advancements in technology, the Ekso-skeleton was developed. Assisted by Joanna Weakley and Dr. Chad Swank, Elizabeth Daane entered from the back of the room. All eyes focused on her as she slowly navigated her way through the tables and chairs in her Ekso-skeleton with the assistance of Chad and Joanna and crutches. Thanks to a computer and battery, Elizabeth was able to stand, walk and move around. It was obvious that the skeleton was not an easy device to maneuver. As Elizabeth demonstrated the skeleton walking through the room, she proved that she hadn’t lost her sense of humor. When asked a question, she responded, “I can’t walk and talk.”

But the skeleton does more than allow the patient to be more mobile. Elizabeth explained how in her case the skeleton’s ability to move the limbs also allowed her to exercise and deal with chronic nerve pain. As Elizabeth described it, “It’s not like the pain when you pull a muscle at the gym. It sounds crazy. So I don’t have normal sensation in my legs. But I feel kind of a sensation that is burning, stabbing, scorching pins and needles on steroids. And I feel it all the time. One thing the Ekso-skeleton does is changes the sensation. It doesn’t make them go away, but it moves them. And when you’ve had the same burning sensation in the same spot for five years, just shifting it from the back of your calf to the front of your calf feels like major relief.”

Chad Swank, Joanna Weakley and Elizabeth Dane

Chad Swank, Joanna Weakley and Elizabeth Dane

While Chad admitted that the Ekso-skeleton price ($175,000) is prohibitive for many, the future of such technology holds even greater opportunities for patients. He explained that it can also be used for stroke victims and anybody with a neurologic injury can potentially benefit from this type of technology.

As Elizabeth left the room, Robin returned to the podium and explained that they were going to switch gears to a TBI case. He introduced Julie Self, who had been a victim of a dramatic car accident. No, Julie had not been in the accident, but outgoing, bright daughter Audrey had been. In November 2013, the SMU coed had just celebrated her 20th birthday. She had been awarded a full academic scholarship and was studying at the Cox School of Business majoring in accounting. On November 21, the entire family including her father Mike and brother Avery undertook saving Audrey’s life and her recovery along with the medical staff. She remained in a coma for 30 days. Coming out of the coma, she was eventually moved to BIR, where “breathing was literally the only thing she could do.” For four months, the team worked with her. Despite her being physically dependent and having very limited short-term memory, the decision was to move her home in April 2014. Still she continued her therapy including occupational therapy at the Tom Landry Center for her hand. She connected with her therapist and talked about him when she got home. “This was a huge step for Audrey. It proved her short-term memory was finally beginning to improve.”

Avery Self, Audrey Self and Mike and Julie Self

Avery Self, Audrey Self and Mike and Julie Self

After two years, the Self family feels that the team of therapists and doctors are like family bringing Audrey through this journey.

Julie then introduced Audrey, who was seated at a nearby table. The 22-year-old looked nothing like the photos of the patient in the hospital bed that had been shown on the screen. She had a beautiful smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Audrey told the room of executives, philanthropists and community leaders: “Life is hard for everyone. We make the choice every day whether or not to make the best of what we have in front of us. I have always been someone who likes to set goals and plan ahead. But life is not like writing a book. We cannot plan for the unexpected. And we cannot control our outcome in everything we do. The little things, the baby steps add up to be the big steps. This impacts every aspect of our lives from recovery, relationships and overall life. With hard work, patience, perseverance and time, each baby step adds up and suddenly we realize we are making significant strides.”

She feels that she is the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, and that “Hope means nothing is impossible.”

After the applause settled down, Robin told how last fall the Foundation team arranged for Don Wills and Don Jackson of the Ginger Murchison Foundation to meet Audrey. Then he asked her what her future plans were. She said that she’s going back to SMU in the fall.

Robin said, “Let me stop you right there.” He told her how 46 years ago he had been a student in Don Jackson’s finance class at SMU. Robin then let Julie pick up the connection between Don Jackson and Audrey. It seems that due to the accident, there had been some issues dealing with Audrey’s full scholarship and her returning as a part-time student.

Learning of the situation, Don got the situation straightened out and the next day the Selfs received a call saying that her scholarship had been adjusted to meet her needs.

Don Jackson and Audrey Self

Don Jackson and Audrey Self

Surprising all, Don presented Audrey with a SMU cap and told how SMU, like Baylor, would “be ready in every way possible to make her life easy. We are going to find her the best faculty. We’re going to find her the best ways to get around with our special people who work with students with special needs. Her scholarship can be for one hour at a time or one course at a time and she can take 20 years, if she needs to … like some guys. But she’s so clever, I expect her to be threw quickly…. I’m going to watch over her and make sure that she gets the best classes she can get. We’re gonna see her walk across that stage one day.”

Robin then made one request of Audrey: that when she gets her degree, she’ll return to tell of her journey at SMU. Without hesitation, she said, “Absolutely!”

As a follow up, Robin then asked Lauren Rachal to stand up. He told that when he met with the two Dons, they talked with Lauren, who had been Audrey’s physical therapist. When they saw a patient who was struggling just to stand with the help of three therapists, someone said, “How sad.” Lauren told them that, “If you walk through BIR one day, it would probably be depressing. But come back the next day and come back the next week and to see the progress that people make and the many things people do turning tragedy into triumph. It is one of the most motivating and inspiring places they could be.”

Baylor Scott And White CEO Joel Allison Accepted 2015 Spirit Of Generations With Humility And Compassion Despite A “Blow”

‘Twas the Monday before Thanksgiving and the Anatole was busy, busy, busy. While out-of-towners were hustling out the door to awaiting buses for tours of Dallas, locals were heading to The Senior Source’s 2015 Spirit of Generations Luncheon.

This luncheon tends to be the daytime version of the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner because the honoree never knows what to expect.

Gregg Ballew, Molly Bogen, Boone Powell Jr, Elizabeth Gambrell, David and Elaine Nelson and Joel Allison

Gregg Ballew, Molly Bogen, Boone Powell Jr, Elizabeth Gambrell, David and Elaine Nelson and Joel Allison

While nearly 900 checked in at the Grand Ballroom, patrons gathered for a private reception with honoree Baylor Scott and White CEO Joel Allison. Despite his being an old hand at hosting such gatherings, Joel seemed a little overwhelmed at the attention given him by the likes of Boone Powell Jr., Becky Bright, Elaine and David Nelson, Bob White, Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Debbie Oates, Suzy Gekiere, Caren and Pete Kline and loads of Baylor types (Robin Robinson, Lindalyn Adams, Jennifer Coleman and husband Brad Stribling and, of course, Joel’s “bride” Diane Allison).

Debbie Oates

Debbie Oates

Jennifer Coleman and Brad Stribling

Jennifer Coleman and Brad Stribling

Sara Lee Gardner

Sara Lee Gardner

Pete and Caren Kline

Pete and Caren Kline

Diane Allison

Diane Allison

On the other hand, The Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen was all smiles despite this luncheon being her last to oversee. After 40 years, Molly was retiring. Little did she know that Luncheon Chair Elizabeth Gambrell and The Senior Source team had a surprise up their silk sleeves.

By 11:45 the patrons were headed to the Grand Ballroom.

As the head-table guests took their place promptly at 11:55, Community Partners of Dallas VP Joanna Clarke told that her support of The Senior Source came through her learning about the organization through her Junior League of Dallas days.

At noon sharp The Senior Source Board Chair Gregg Ballew introduced the table, and Baylor Scott & White Health Chief Mission and Ministry Officer Mark Grace gave the invocation.

But before the lunch commenced, Elizabeth thanked her committee and the underwriters. She then added that all but two of the past 21 luncheon chairs were present.

Luncheon (assorted Fall greens, drive cranberries, candied pecans, red and green applies, shaved Parmesan and Balsamic vinaigrette; herb crusted breast of chicken, wild mushroom sauce, webani rice with scallions, braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots and asparagus; and pear tart with dried cherries) was served with the talk of the day being Thanksgiving. Sharon Popham was flying with the rest of the family to their place in New Mexico, while husband Roy Popham was driving with all the food and stuff. Sharon was thrilled that there was already snow on the slopes…After orchestrating many past Thanksgiving feasts, Carol Seay was “just showing up.”

Following lunch, Molly introduced a video on the Elder Financial Safety Center shedding light on the ugly side of seniors “being victims” of financial abuse. According to the video, $37B is lost annually by older citizens due to financial abuse and “roughly 37% of seniors are abused financially.” Luckily, thanks to a collaborative effort by The Senior Source, the Dallas Country District Attorney’s Office and Probate Courts, the Center was providing “prevention, protection and prosecution services” for older adults. In the video Molly seemed to almost appeal that this program was her parting wish for the organization that she had grown and grown up with for 40 years.

Gregg returned to the podium encouraging guests to volunteer and support the organization’s efforts.

Then he announced “a little deviation from the agenda here.” To his far right, Molly looked startled. She didn’t know of any “deviation.” And she wasn’t supposed to. Gregg gave a tip of the hat to Molly, saying that like any great leader, she was leaving her organization better than she found it.  But despite her years of working with seniors, she might need some help adjusting to retirement. With that a video was shown featuring Mayor Mike Rawlings, Molly’s son Joseph Bogen (“Hey, Mom, now you can fulfill your lifelong dream of running for public office”), retired WFAA anchor Gloria Campos, retired Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow and The Ticket’s George Dunham (“Clear up those felony warrants you have”). With that Molly was given a standing ovation.

Molly Bogen, Debbie Oates and Joel Allison

Molly Bogen, Debbie Oates and Joel Allison

Before the guests could take their seats, Steve Blow himself appeared on stage in scrubs telling Molly, “This retirement gig is great!”

He told the audience that despite his outfit he hadn’t launched into a second career: “Healthcare has not gone that crazy.” The reason for the scrubs was his doing research on honoree Joel.

Steve Blow

Steve Blow

A video described Joel as the “most earnest man in the world” with such statements as

  • “Compared to him, Boy Scouts seem kind of shifty.”
  • “His groupies include the Pope, the Dali Llama, Oprah.”
  • “In college, he refused to play offensive tackle because it was …offensive.”
  • “Even his competitors list him as their emergency contact.”
  • “He once urged Mr. Rogers to be kinder to the people in his neighborhood.”

Steve admitted that he had undertaken “Operation: Find A Fault” to “dig up some dirt” on Joel. It was unsuccessful, but Steve dug up some “turkeys” like

  • “A Big Sleep” — Working out before 5 a.m. every day at the Tom Landry Center, Joel was given his own key because nobody could get up that early to open the center. He thought it would be a good idea for all the Baylor staff to work out and sent out a memo. The next morning at 4:45 a.m. the place was packed with doctors, nurses and staff. While an invigorated Joel carried on the day’s duties, his teammates looked a little worn out.
  • “Unnecessary Roughness” — His dedication to Baylor University football is renowned. He thought it might be just the thing to “broadcast Baylor games throughout all the medical centers.” However, hearing Joel and the senior leaders hollering, “Rip ’em up. Tear ’em up; “Sic ’em, sic ’em!” was a bit “unsettling.”

Steve told the group that Joel’s favorite comedian was Jeff Foxworthy and how Jeff’s understanding of medical terms didn’t quite sync with the Oxford Dictionary of Medicine. Examples:

  • Benign — “What you be after you be eight.”
  • Morbid —”Dang, a higher bid than mine.”
  • Fibula — “Well, that’s just a little old lie.”
  • Barium — “That’s what doctors do when patients die.”
  • Dilate — “To live long.”
Joel Allison and Margo Goodwin

Joel Allison and Margo Goodwin

Steve then turned the program over to The Senior Source’s Honorary Lifetime Director and Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Chair Margo Goodwin, who got down to business and told of his dedication, his integrity and his accomplishments.

She recalled when Boone Powell Jr. hired Joel over 40 years ago he recognized Joel’s humility and compassion and “those core traits have stayed with Joel forever.”

Upon receiving his award, Joel displayed the “core traits” that Margo spoke of. He graciously thanked Margo, Steve, Gregg, Elizabeth, Elaine and David Nelson, Boone, his family and described The Senior Source as “the most outstanding organization in this community.”

In typical Joel fashion, he accepted the award “on behalf of the men and women of Baylor Scott and White Health that I have the privilege of serving every day. And it’s because of their dedication, their commitment, their compassion and their passion for delivering health care that I stand here before you.”

Joel Allison, Elizabeth Gambrell and Boone Powell Jr.

Joel Allison, Elizabeth Gambrell and Boone Powell Jr.

He also thanked the volunteers including the Baylor board and publicly saluted Molly.

Joel then turned his remarks to his just joining the “senior ranks” and said, “I’m looking forward to receiving the services” of The Senior Source. According to Joel, 10,000 other baby boomers are joining that status daily.

As an aside, he told the audience that he was going to go to The Senior Source “and have them help me understand the Medicare bill that I’m going to be receiving.”