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March 2024

We recently shared with you that the Foundation had a record-breaking fundraising year in 2023, thanks to the generosity of our donors. We are always amazed at the exceptional philanthropy that lives in our community and the kindness for the well-being of neighbors, family and friends.

For 2024 we are focused on several new critical priorities that will continue to make our community healthier and stronger. Keeping you informed is important to us – which is why you’re receiving this newsletter. You may notice we updated the layout to make it easier to read and navigate the stories – time is precious for all of us. Let us know how you like it!

The Foundation has also established an Innovation Endowment to take advantage of the unprecedented excitement and potential for transformative change in healthcare and technology. This Endowment will accelerate innovation at our six medical centers and introduce novel treatments, therapies and technologies that make care better today and revolutionize HonorHealth’s approach to healing in the future. The results are better patient outcomes, enhanced quality of life and increased life expectancy.

You are the power behind innovation. We are excited to share more about this Endowment with you as we move into our exciting future. Thank you for your trust in us – it means the world to me.

In gratitude,

Jared A. Langkilde, MBA, CFRE
President & CEO


PiA - March 2024 - Donor Spotlight
Philanthropy in Action - March 2024 - Joe

Unexpected cardiac arrest

Joe woke up at 5 am with severe pain across his right shoulder. While it was intense and concerning, he didn’t immediately think “cardiac arrest,” given the absence of well-known symptoms such as jaw and arm pain and sweating. But a few minutes later when the sweating began, his wife Barbara called 9-1-1. Paramedics on the scene confirmed he was in the throes of a heart attack. Later doctors confirmed a 100 percent blockage in his circumflex artery.

“When the ambulance started the 2.5 mile journey to HonorHealth I remember thinking ‘is this the last time I’m going to see my wife, Barbara?’” stated Joe. “It was the longest, short trip I have ever taken.”

Upon arrival at the HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Emergency Room, a sea of white coats were waiting for Joe, including cardiologist Dr. Robert Burke and shortly after Dr. David Rizik, his soon-to-be cardiovascular surgeon.

“When wheeling me into the elevator, Dr. Rizik asked how I was doing, to which I replied ‘I’m scared,’” remarked Joe. “Dr. Rizik leaned closer to me and told me I was going to be alright. That he would fix me. His demeanor was so reassuring I believed I would live through it.”

Dr. Rizik inserted double stents into Joe’s circumflex artery to open it and remove the blockage. After some time in HonorHealth’s rehab center, he and Barbara started to return to a normal life with untold gratitude.

“I’ve been grateful in my life, but Dr. Rizik and Dr. Burke and their teams elevated me to a unique level of gratitude that has not diminished,” states Joe. “Without their decisive action and their high level of expertise, there never would have been a 50th wedding anniversary. So am I grateful yes – but I need a much stronger adjective for it.”

As a grateful patient, Joe and Barbara also turned their gratitude into generosity as donors to the HonorHealth Cardiovascular Center of Excellence to help other patients survive their cardiac disease through technology and innovation. As Malik Shah, MD, Executive Director of HonorHealth Cardiovascular Center of Excellence will tell you – it is donors who help make the Center the best it can be through their generosity and investment in technology and innovative programs.

Thank you, Joe, for your trust in our care and for your generosity in supporting the most innovative cardiovascular care for our growing community.


PiA - A Patient's Story
PiA - March 2024 - Megan - Brain on Fire

Patient with rare “Brain on Fire” disease now an HonorHealth volunteer

Megan was a healthy, active and vibrant young woman who one day suddenly couldn’t talk, think or remember the fluent French she spoke for years.

Admitted to HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center in Phoenix, doctors worked nonstop to determine the cause of her mental and physical deterioration, which included seizures, respiratory failure and memory loss.

Doctors diagnosed Megan with a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease known as Brain on Fire, a form of encephalitis that causes swelling of the brain.

“I had to relearn how to count, how to spell, tell time, do literally everything. That was probably the weirdest part for me,” recounts Megan.

After two months in the hospital, Megan made a remarkable recovery under the watchful eye of Dr. Victor Zach, director of HonorHealth’s neurocritical care program.

“She came close to death multiple times, and each time we told that Grim Reaper to buzz off,” said Zach.

Megan also spent several weeks in physical therapy, where she had to learn to walk and talk again. “I would not be where I am without God, the support of my family, and the HonorHealth team specifically,” said Megan.

Now nearly fully recovered, back to work and enjoying life – Megan and her mom, Jean, started their first shift as volunteers at the John C. Lincoln Medical Center.

"We tell all our friends the care and compassion John C. Lincoln staff showed Mark, me and especially Megan is above and beyond medical care," remarked Jean, mom to Megan. "It is compassion from their hearts as human-to-human and not just a room number.  Staff called her by name. I remember Dr. Valizadeh calling her the daughter of JCL. That will always make me cry.”

We are thrilled to watch your journey back to wellness continue to accelerate and wish you all the best, Megan!


PiA - Events Roundup

PiA - Honor BallA night to remember at the 47th Annual Honor Ball

Thank you to those who joined us at the Honor Ball on Saturday, March 2. What a spectacular night of community and fun!

We welcomed more than 925 donors, partners and community family to the gala where we enjoyed an experience inspired by the Grand Budapest Hotel. Proceeds benefit HonorHealth’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, both at Scottsdale Shea Medical Center. Two critical programs dedicated to personalized, innovative care for some of our most vulnerable patients.

We enjoyed spending time with you!

View the 2024 Honor Ball photo gallery!

PiA - March 2024 - Military PartnershipDonors gather to celebrate renovations completed at HonorHealth Military Partnership

The HonorHealth Military Partnership Trauma Training Center went through extensive renovations to make it one of THE premier military medical training centers in the country. The Training Center is a 60+ year-old historic building in Old Town Scottsdale. Supporters of the program gathered on February 16 in celebration and to witness an actual trauma training simulation on both humans and canines.

The renovations, made possible through multi-year grants by the Del E. Webb Foundation, included:

  • Expanded classroom instruction and trauma simulation training spaces, and multi-use training space.
  • Increased storage capability, safety, security, and structural integrity of the building including adding a mechanical lift, adding the security gate, and creating larger restrooms.
  • Installation of 66 energy efficient windows, stucco repairs, new roof and exterior paint.

“It is an honor to have Del E. Webb Foundation as a philanthropic partner,” states Terri Perillo, Associate Vice President of Grants. “Celebrating with donors at the Center allowed us to showcase their generosity in action and how it is saving lives, not only here in the Valley but around the world. This program is unique — HonorHealth is the only community hospital in the country to provide this advanced training for military and first-responders at no cost."

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this very special day and for your continued support of the Military Partnership. YOU are making a difference for our military and first-responder teams and the people they serve.


PiA - March 2024 - Doctors' Day

PiA - March 2024 - Doctors' Day Thank You

Celebrate Doctors’ Day with a note of thanks

We all have a special doctor in our lives — that physician who goes the extra mile? Saved your life? Delivered your firstborn? Treated your family like family?

National Doctors’ Day, celebrated annually on March 30, is a special occasion to recognize and appreciate the tireless efforts of physicians who contribute significantly to individual lives and communities.

According to Dr. Tiffany Pankow, MD, HonorHealth Vice President and Chief of Wellness and Patient Experience, the Latin root of doctor means “teacher.” She is the first to honor and appreciate the give and take role between physicians and patients. She remarks that “while I hope I have had the chance to teach others, I am so grateful for all this vocation has taught and gifted to me.”

Every doctor takes the oath for different reasons. At HonorHealth, we are proud of the level of care our 3500 physicians and advanced practice providers deliver to our patients and communities across the Valley. In 2023, there were 2.2 million interactions with HonorHealth providers alone!

“For me being a physician is an honor, a privilege and a foundational commitment to improve health and relieve suffering. Being present to guide, heal, console or celebrate in a patient’s most intimate and vulnerable times is something I consider sacred,” states Dr. Pankow. “That human-to-human connection to make a small difference is what keeps me motivated and helps me find joy in the work I do.”

You can give the gift of gratitude to your physician with a personal note this year. Visit our Ovation page and complete the form. The note will be sent directly to your doctor.

Happy Doctors’ Day to all our doctors at HonorHealth. Thank you for elevating the quality of healthcare in Arizona. We appreciate you.


PiA March 2024 - Officer Sami K-9

PiA March 2024 - K-9 Officer Sami

Welcome K-9 Officer Sami to the HonorHealth security team

Security is a critical component to optimal patient experience and care. We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our K-9 Security Team, Sami.

Sami is a Belgian Malinois born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is 1.5 years old and is already known for her exceptional speed and high jumps. Stationed at the John C. Lincoln Medical Center with her handler, Officer Amado Sandoval, she is already making an impression with the patients and staff.

Welcome to the HonorHealth team, Sami!

Learn more about the HonorHealth K-9 Safety Partnership.