[January 13, 2021] If it involves kids, you can sign me up. I believe that children should be protected so that they can grow up to be the best they can be. That is why I’m a big fan of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They don’t list their core values explicitly, but their Mission Statement helps us glean those values from it.
“The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.”1
St. Jude Hospital was founded in 1962 by comedian Danny Thomas with help from Lemuel Diggs and Anthony Abraham. Early in his adult life, a struggling Danny Thomas made a promise to Saint Jude Thaddeus to build a shrine in the saint’s honor. Thomas believed in the power of prayer. The hospital is named after St. Jude Thaddeus.
From material provided by St. Jude Children’s Hospital, I put together what I believe to be their core values:
- Saving children’s’ lives
- Medical science cooperation
- Proper and quality health care
- Families never pay
- Giving back
The history of how Danny Thomas and others put together a plan to build St. Jude is one that should be told to everyone. I found it amazing because the hospital is tied so closely to comedian Thomas and his family. The cost of any hospital construction and operation is enormous. The current costs to operate the hospital is approximately $1.5 billion annually.
The idea that someone could create such a success from nothing is one of the great stories of our time. Large organizations are complex and St. Jude, while not huge, certainly is complex. To navigate the waters of construction, medical research, federal regulations, and charity requires exceptional leadership. Fortunately for St. Jude, they have been a success and are blessed with outstanding leadership and staffing.
There is a YouTube video that tells their story, and it can be found here (see link, YouTube video 2:47 minutes). I recommend viewing their short video. If you have the financial means, I also recommend a donation (see link). In 1962 when St. Jude Hospital began, the childhood cancer survival rate was 20%. Today the survival rate is 80%. Success. But their goal is 100%.