The Impact of Philanthropy | Grateful Patient Giving | MedStar Health

Gratitude Matters

It’s how we treat people.

At MedStar Health, we are grateful for our philanthropic partners. These community partners, business partners, grateful patients, and their families are inspirational and uplift our clinicians and care teams across the health system, positively impacting our ability to meet the healthcare needs of our region.

Philanthropic partners support the delivery of compassionate and high-quality patient care, educating the next generation of medical teams, and advancing medical research to propel healthcare into the future. We are immensely grateful for every individual and organization that chooses to become a philanthropic partner at MedStar Health.

We are proud to highlight a few of the ways philanthropy has transformed our ability to deliver state-of-the-art care, improve our associates' wellbeing, and enhance our facilities.

The associate wellbeing initiatives at MedStar Health continue to be a philanthropic priority and endorsed by every hospital. Throughout the past year, we have grown the peer support network, built recharging stations in our facilities, continued wellness rounds, and provided mental health and wellness resources with our associates. Our Power to Heal Campaign, an internal initiative for associates to express gratitude with a philanthropic gift to MedStar Health, raised $1.1 million for the associate wellbeing initiatives in 2022, which included support from over 1,000 of our associates and community members.


  • BJ and Jean Cooney pictured inside their home. Cancer Journey Turns Local Couple Into Enthusiastic MedStar HealthSupporters  The Center for Successful Aging opened at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and expands to MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital to include the Collaborative Care Program.

    • BJ and Jean Cooney (pictured) decided to volunteer and help launch the Center for Successful Aging at MedStar Montgomery following a cancer lymphoma diagnosis and treatment.

  • Renovation of the Special Care Nursery at MedStar Harbor Hospital is ongoing in an effort to modernize spaces and help our hospital meet the growing needs of our community by creating a more efficient and versatile spaces that supports improved health outcomes for critically ill infants, especially those born with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome.

  • A new entrance was constructed, including a canopy and ADA-compliant walkway as part of the Adding Life to Years® Campaign at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

    • Joe and Karin generously supported the Adding Life to Years ® Campaign after their aunt Marie received excellent care at MedStar NRH for congestive heart failure.

  • A mother holds her young baby and smiles.The Ob/Gyn Specialty Care Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center funded two nurse navigators to provide individual care to patients to ensure that they have access to care and to help address social determinants of health needs and a part time researcher to review data on postpartum outreach.

The Verstandig Medical/Surgical Pavilion is the most ambitious capital project in the history of MedStar Health. A nearly $800 million investment by MedStar Health will be combined with over $100 million in support from our generous philanthropic partners to complete the project. Bolstered by a $50 million gift from Grant Verstandig and the Verstandig Family Foundation, along with other leadership gifts to the campaign, we are enthusiastic about the progress we are making.

Last year, the overall structure of the building was finished and installation of the exterior facade, windows, and roofing was substantially completed. We are truly grateful to the philanthropic partners who continue to support this state-of-the-art facility. Thanks to your support we are close to reaching our philanthropic goal. This year, we will focus on the underground three level parking garage, new green space, and interior finishings. The Verstandig Pavilion is slated to welcome the first patients fall of 2023.


Mike Sachtleben, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Washington Region, MedStar Health; and president, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Emily Riffle, vice president and chief philanthropy officer at MedStar Georgetown, stand in front of the new Verstandig Pavilion.


  • A young woman in a wheelchair works with weighted ropes in MedStar Health's adaptive fitness gym.Eight recreational and competitive sport programs were supported through the Adaptive Sports Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. This program provides opportunities for athletes with disabilities to participate through coaching, play, and other resources.

    • Gary Coetzee went from being a patient with a sports injury to raising funds to support the Adaptive Sports Program.

  • A new nurse navigator was funded as part of the Patient Navigation Program. Thanks to the Carolyn Lewis Tyler Cancer Fund, MedStar Washington Hospital Center was able to create this important position, which provides support exclusively for lung cancer patients.

  • Bernard Matus sits with his arm around his wife Nancy in their home.Nurses at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital were provided the opportunity to pursue a degree in nursing and healthcare through philanthropic support to the scholarship program and 2022 hospital gala.

  • A Mind and Spine virtual spinal cord injury support group was established for outpatients and community members as part of the
    Peer Mentor & Wellness Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Health equity is defined as fair and just access to high-quality healthcare, regardless of one’s social or economic status. To improve health equity, MedStar Health has a comprehensive, system-wide approach to philanthropically support health equity programs that assist our patients in the mid-Atlantic region.

In this past year, philanthropy-supported programs:

  • Provided our patients with nutritious foods, cooking classes, and health tracking by our medical teams through lifestyle medicine programs, such as Food Rx

  • Hired and trained community health workers and peer recovery coaches through our workforce development initiative

  • Ensured patients attend their medical appointments with transportation assistance programs

  • Offered care through the mobile health units, which come to the patient’s neighborhoods


  • The Center for Knee Preservation at MedStar Health was established to provide a less expensive alternative to surgery and to support the research and implementation of less invasive surgical and non-surgical interventions.

  • The Ekso Bionics unit was purchased at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital/ This highly advanced device supports more exoskeleton therapy sessions to help people with significant paralysis relearn many functional abilities, including walking.

  • The KUKA KR QUANTEC robotic arm was acquired at the Musculoskeletal Research and Innovation Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. This technology allows researchers to more precisely test orthopedic implants and other novel therapies to treat joint injuries.

2022 Philanthropy numbers at a glance

Total philanthropic partnerships: $58,778,724

We are grateful for the 14,533 philanthropic gifts that totaled more than $58 million last calendar year for initiatives across the MedStar Health system. Thank you to all who partner with us.