We are all so lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwest. We have this amazing environment, amazing weather (today for example the weather is perfect) and we live in a community of such smart and caring people.
We are also lucky that due to both current and past philanthropists – the Northwest is the place to be if you get sick. Lets be clear we are all going to die (and if you are interested in issues with end of life care you should see the planned Community Conversation that Jen Wroblewski is planning for June 3 titled “What do science, medicine and our culture tell us about end of life?”) – that said, the amazing research hospitals here in the Northwest will both prolong your life and improve the quality of care that we have during the period before we die.
There is no doubt that philanthropists have driven the development of the amazing research hospitals in our region. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for example was inspired by the philanthropic efforts of Dr. William Hutchinson and was named for his brother Fred who died of cancer in 1964.
The philanthropic contributions to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center received a huge boost last month when the Bezos family donated $20m to support the Center’s work on cancer immunotherapy.
Paul Allen has been a major supporter of brain research with gifts of several hundred million dollars over the past decade.
The Gates Foundation in turn has been funding the development of innovative ways to stop diseases and improve health care.
There is no doubt that these significant gifts have driven a sea change in health care, and have put the Pacific Northwest at the leading edge of research driven health care improvements. I don’t ever want to get sick and I also note that getting sick here in the Northwest is one of the luckiest things that could happen – thanks in large part to all of these amazing donors.