Core Values: St. Jude Children’s Hospital

By | January 13, 2021

[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%.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Core Values: St. Jude Children’s Hospital

  1. Honey Flower Betsy

    St. Jude Children’s Hospital is great. We all know that. It took a great vision and continued great leadership. I will tell you that great leadership does come at a high cost in money. But better pay a lot for quality leaders than pay nothing and get nothing. That is the American was. If we all do good, all are lifted up.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Yes, but too many of our snowflake generation are in to ripping down statues and burning buildings because their feeeeelllings are getting hurt.

      1. Max Foster

        Ha Ha Ha. Mr. TJ you are so right. Funny comment. I will add that adults are doing little to discourage them. If you meet a snowflake, I see it as your responsibility to help them be a better person, politely of course. But remember that their thinking is not based upon logic, reason, or history but upon emotion and a few distorted “facts.” Keep that in mind. It takes a long time to overcome liberal programming. Don’t get frustrated with them (we all tend to do that) and cut them off. We are building a great world, help them see it.

        1. Deplorable John

          Excellent thinking her Max. Yes, we want the ‘snowflake generation’ to be part of our great world, not tearing it down.

  2. Dennis Mathes

    Another spot-on article from Gen. Satterfield that gets to the heart of being a moral person and who those people can make choices in their lives that help others in a great way. St. Jude is a shining example of how this works. I hope others read their story.

  3. Ronny Fisher

    Ah, Gen. Satterfield, you brought back your “core values” series. It is much appreciated. This article is very helpful in assisting me to understand core values.

  4. JT Patterson

    It took a vision, hard work, a bit of luck, focus, honesty, and good communications to make this happen. St. Jude was no accident. Danny THomas is one of my favorite comedians/entertainers. And, his daughter as well. Marlo Thomas continues to carry on his work with St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Yep, Marlo Thomas is also a good person. I wonder why is it that we find good people grouped into families (like the Thomas’s) and also bad folk in families (like the Biden’s). Hmmmmmmm

  5. Willie Shrumburger

    “The history of how Danny Thomas and others put together a plan to build St. Jude is one that should be told to everyone.” Yes!!

  6. Doug Smith

    Great hospital with a fantastic record of saving children. This is a wonderful example of folks who are doing GOOD in the world as opposed to those who are EVIL.

    1. ARay Pittman

      What I also like about St. Jude, other than the great work they do is that they are not out trolling for government handouts. Sure, they get a few grants for research but the bulk of their money comes from private donations from people like you and me.

      1. Tom Bushmaster

        You are both right. That is why I send $100 every year to them. Not much, I know. But it is what I can afford. These are terrible times and St. Jude Children’s Hospital is a bright spot. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for highlighting them for us today.

    2. Gil Johnson

      If only more people would take up the mantle of doing more for their communities, we would have a better world. Instead of whining and complaining and thus doing nothing, we can pick up the shovel and start something good.


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