by lyle e davis
His name at birth was Muzyad Yahkoob. His vital statistics are: Born
January 6, 1914, in Deerfield, Michigan. He would become known by
several other names later in his life . . . Amos Jacobs, for one .
. . but then he finally changed his name to the one we remember today,
with great affection. Danny Thomas.
Danny Thomas was very successful in show business. He was the star
of “Make Room for Daddy,” was the father of Marlo Thomas,
a television actress in her own right, the star of “That Girl,”
and ex-wife of Phil Donahue, another media luminary. Thomas was also
the producer of several successful television series, “The Dick
Van Dyke Show,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”
But what Danny Thomas will be most remembered for, his permanent
legacy to the world, is his founding of the St. Jude's Research Hospital,
which is dedicated to finding cures for catastrophic children's diseases.
The hospital opened in 1962 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Thomas died in February 1991, and both he and his wife, Rose Marie,
are buried in a memorial garden at St. Jude’s.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the single largest center
in the United States for the treatment and research of pediatric cancer
and other childhood catastrophic diseases. It is the first and only
institution established for the sole purpose of conducting basic and
clinical research into catastrophic diseases. Once a patient is accepted,
St. Jude covers all medical costs beyond those covered by insurance.
Families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude Hospital
also provides transportation, lodging, and meals for one parent and
When Thomas opened St. Jude Hospital in 1962, fewer than 5 percent
of its patients survived. Today, more than 80 percent live because
of the dedicated work of St. Jude's doctors and scientists and the
generosity of St. Jude's supporters. St. Jude Hospital freely shares
all of its research, findings and treatments with all other medical
Why a hospital? Why in Memphis? He had been contemplating what he
would do to repay God for his good fortune and kept looking toward
the back country of the Mississippi Delta to establish some kind of
home or medical center to help the very poor of Louisiana. He was
also troubled by a news story about a young African-American boy who
died because he was refused admission to a segregated hospital. This
caused Thomas to build a racially-neutral children's hospital in the
South. The final choice of Memphis as the location was influenced
by his mentor Cardinal Stritch, the Archbishop of Chicago, who suggested
Memphis (the site of his first parish).
Most recently the work of St. Jude’s Children’s Research
Hospital gained attention as they jumped in and not only agreed to
provide medical care and support to hundreds of non-St. Jude pediatric
cancer patients who were being treated in Gulf Coast-area hospitals
and whose treatment was disrupted by Hurricane Katrina. St. Jude staff
carried medical supplies to the St. Jude affiliate clinics located
at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
and at the Louisiana State University, Department of Pediatrics, in
Teams of St. Jude physicians, nurses and social workers helped evaluate
patients and families at the St. Jude affiliate clinics to support
the medical teams already on-site.
More than 80 patients whose cancer treatment was disrupted in the
Gulf Coast area because of Hurricane Katrina were treated or evaluated
at one of the three St. Jude locations.
St. Jude also provided vital treatment to critically ill pediatric
cancer patients from the Gulf Coast region in its primary facility
in Memphis, Tennessee, as dictated by their medical situation. Some
of the direst cases were airlifted to St. Jude.
St. Jude funded these efforts to pediatric cancer patients affected
by Hurricane Katrina at no cost to their families. St. Jude is committed
to providing care and supplies indefinitely for these patients who
were already undergoing much stress and difficulty even before the
hurricane disrupted their treatment.
Patients receiving life-saving treatment today are still counting
on the support of the St. Jude’s which, in turn, relies upon
the public to support their effort.
Some of the more impressive results of the efforts of St. Judes include
the research that pushed the survival rate of acute lymphoblastic
leukemia from 4 percent to 85 percent and the overall childhood cancer
survival rate from less than 20 percent to more than 70 percent.
St. Jude’s has, overall, an impressive efficiency rating as
to how it apportions the funds it raises. Almost 75% of its funds
goes to program expenses, administrative expense is a bit high at
10%, fundraising expense runs around 16%. St. Judes, which focuses
almost exclusively on children with cancer has 36 in patient beds,
14 transplant beds, and 8 ICU beds.
We were a bit surprised at the high compensation rate paid to its
Chief Executive Officer, Richard C. Shadyac. He is paid $428,511.
This compares to what Palomar Pomerado Health’s CEO, Michael
Covert, who is paid $425,000, and with bonuses, could rise to as much
as $600,000. Palomar Health oversees Palomar Medical Center in Escondido
and Pomerado Hospital in Poway, a combined 650-bed public hospital
district. He administers an annual budget of nearly $350 million.
Tri-City’s Hospital Executive Director Art Gonzalez receives,
$436,000 which, with up to a 30% bonus package could equal $566,000.
Tri-City, which serves Oceanside, Vista and Carlsbad, is significantly
smaller than Palomar Pomerado, with only 397 beds. Gonzalez administers
a $239 million budget
The argument will be made that St. Jude’s CEO is responsible
for revenues of $429,640,606, and assets totalling $1,234,660,649.
Well, Palomar Pomerado Health District is responsible for $350,000,000
in revenues, only slightly less than St. Judes.
Meanwhile, let us look at other life-saving facilities:
Children’s Hospital and Health Center, San Diego
A Medical Center
Just For Kids
In contrast, Children’s Execcu-tive Director, David B. Gillig,
receives $273,957 in compensation. Under his direction, Children’s
is quite an efficient hospital when it comes to raising revenue and
allocating funding. They provide almost 80% of their funding to program
services and their administrative expense is very low, less than 5%.
Children’s Hospital has annual revenues of over $756,000 and
has 232 staffed beds and nearly 13,000 admissions annually.
This would suggest that Messrs. Shadyac, Covert and Gonzalez are
grossly overpaid . . . or that Mr. Gillig is woefuly underpaid. In
checking with hospital CEO’s compensation nationwide, the median
compensation level is $268,000, after bonuses, the median rises to
$313,200. (Source: ACHE Compensation Study (ACHE = American College
of Health Care Executives) (2005 Hospital Compensation Survey - Conducted
by Hay Group)
The reader may draw his own conclusions from this study.
Since St. Jude’s is not a traditional hospital (they don’t
have an Emergency Room, they don’t treat broken bones, measles,
etc. . . . . only catastrophic illness, normally cancer) they have
a much smaller patient base. Children’s Hospital handles all
types of illnesses and injuries.
Since Children’s first opened its doors in 1954, their mission
has been “to restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental
potential of children through excellence in care, education, research
Children’s is San Diego region’s only designated pediatric
trauma center and the only area hospital dedicated solely to pediatric
care. Their goal is to help create a region where all children go
to school healthy and ready to learn how to be productive, responsible
Quality pediatric care requires specialized training and a special
sensitivity that is perfected through caring for children 100 percent
of the time. From mild illness and injury to the most severe medical
emergency, Children’s specially qualified clinical staff and
affiliated physicians provide a full continuum of care.
From birth through adolescence, children have special health care
needs that are different from those of adults. Their bodies respond
differently to injury and illness. And most children do not understand
– or know how to deal with – the experience of serious
illness or hospitalization. Children’s responds to those needs
by providing expert pediatric care within a unique healing environment.
Rose Pavilion: (See photo below, right). Their healing environment,
created with kids in mind, incorporates state-of-the-art technology
with a climate of caring. Designed specifically to help kids get and
stay healthy, Children's promotes healing and reduces anxiety through
a unique combination of design, light, color and art. Within this
environment of caring, children and their families become part of
the healing process.
In addition to caring for children at their main campus in Kearny
Mesa, Children’s has 15 neighborhood centers offering primary
care and specialized services. Children’s is also active in
numerous community outreach programs, including health education,
early intervention and counseling, child abuse prevention and child
Healthcare Fit For a Child
From birth through adolescence, children have unique health needs.
Children’s understands those needs, and the appropriate care
to meet those needs. It all comes from extensive training and experience
focused exclusively on children.
A child too young to talk cannot tell you where it hurts or how he
or she is feeling. Squirming, crying and pulling away from those who
are trying to help are all normal childhood reactions.
The anxieties of a toddler and a teenager and the ways to ease those
anxieties are not the same. Children’s understands the differences
and knows how to tailor treatment to fit a child’s changing
physical and emotional state.
In 2001, Children's Hospital and Health Center was selected by Child
magazine as one of the 10 best children’s hospitals in the country.
The hospitals were judged according to the quality of their doctors
and nurses, survival rates for common childhood cancers, and the amount
of government research funding the hospitals receive.
San Diego Children's
3020 Children's Way
San Diego, CA 92123
City of Hope
It all started in a tent 93 years ago. Two tents, actually, both
of which were hospital tents set up initially as a haven for those
stricken with tuberculosis. By any definition the City of Hope began
with compassion as the driving force that led to the founding of City
of Hope in 1913.
From that humble beginning City of Hope has grown to a magnificent
facility recognized worldwide as a leading center of research and
treatment of life threatening diseases.
Like St. Judes, The City of Hope is a biomedical research and treatment
center dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer and
other life-threatening diseases. City of Hope has achieved numerous
scientific breakthroughs and pioneered many lifesaving procedures
that have impacted treatment worldwide.
Unlike St. Jude’s, however, the City of Hope treats adults
as well as pediatric cases.
City of Hope is a Comprehensive Cancer Center - the highest distinction
awarded by the National Cancer Institute. It is one of only 39 Comprehensive
Cancer Centers nationwide.
More than 7,000 bone marrow and stem cell transplants have been performed
at City of Hope.
City of Hope was awarded more than $55.6 million in research grants
and received nearly $73.9 million in revenues from patented technologies
in FY 2005.
Above, City of Hope
A growing number of important cancer therapies are based on research
pioneered by City of Hope scientists, including the drugs Herceptin,
Rituxan and Avastin.
Millions of people with diabetes worldwide benefit from synthetic
human insulin developed through research conducted at City of Hope.
More than 300 physicians and scientists and over 2,500 employees work
to find the causes of and cures for cancer and other life-threatening
diseases, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. City of Hope, located on
over 112 beautifully landscaped acres, has 165 licensed beds, 39 of
which are devoted to bone marrow transplantation patients.
City of Hope is the first . . .and currently only institution in
the world to perform a clinical study using genetically engineered
T-cells to recognize and attack glioma, a form of brain cancer that
is almost always fatal.
City of Hope was one of the first medical institutions to conduct
bone marrow transplantation, now the standard of care for diseases
such as leukemia and lymphoma, and a treatment that holds promise
for combating other diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Recently, City of Hope physicians performed the world’s first
total marrow irradiation procedure using TomoTherapy technology; this
technology allows physicians to focus on blood and bone marrow with
precise delivery of radiation so adjacent organs are not damaged.
There is a dramatic reduction in side effects compared to Total Body
Irradiation, the former method.
US News and World Report named City of Hope one of America’s
50 best cancer hospitals. The Chronicle of Philanthropy named City
of Hope in its most recent survey of tope philanthropies in America.
City of Hope is a global leader in the fields of bone marrow transplantation
and genetics and has developed innovative therapies for more than
75 types of cancer as well as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and numerous immunological
and genetic disorders.
More than 290,000 volunteers and donors worldwide support City of
Hope and make it possible to continue the lifesaving work done there.
City of Hope is one of an elite group of Comprehensive Cancer Centers,
the highest designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute,
and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
In collaboration with top medical centers nationwide, City of Hope
generates new scientific knowledge and shares its discoveries to help
people in local communities, ensuring the best therapies reach patients
around the corner and around the world.
City of Hope is very efficient with the money it raises. Almost 82%
of revenues goes toward programs, Administration expenses are a bit
high at almost 13% but fundraising costs are quite low at slightly
Annual revenues flowing to City of Hope totals $425,630,749 with expenses
for an excess funds total of $34,735,883.
The President and CEO of City of Hope, Michael A. Friedman, is compensated
with $857,964, clearly the highest compensation of any of the hospital
facilities we’ve examined.
By using information reported on an organization's most recent Form
990, we include as compensation an individual's salary, cash bonuses,
and unusually large expense accounts and other allowances. All CEO’s
cited in this study were evaluated using the identical formula.
City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute
1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010-3000
800-423-7119 or 626-245-HOPE (4673)
Recent noteworthy events:
4/4/2006 - City of Hope Research Establishes First Direct Link Between
Tumor Growth and Immune System Suppression
Research conducted by scientists now at City of Hope Cancer Center
reveals that the STAT3 protein, a regulatory molecule that signals
and directs the activity of genes, works to "cloak" cancer
cells, making them invisible to the immune system.
4/4/2006 - City of Hope Researchers Identify "Cancer Stem Cells"
Responsible for Lung Cancer Tumor Growth
A small population of cells in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) possess
stem cell-like properties such as self-renewal and are responsible
for tumor growth and progression, according to research by City of
Hope Cancer Center scientists. The identification of these tumor-initiating
cells provides greater insight into cancer pathogenesis and may lead
to new avenues for therapies and treatments.
4/3/2006 - City of Hope Researchers Develop New Method of Identifying
Genetic Markers for Lung Cancer
City of Hope Cancer Center researchers have developed a method for
isolating and identifying genes associated with lung cancer that may
lead to better risk prediction and earlier diagnosis of the disease.
Note: In each of the above source references you will find additional
bibliographies. There is a wealth of information on the Internet and
in libraries f