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Palmetto Health Foundation

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Arnold Family Challenge Gift Leads to Nearly $1.2 Million for Palmetto Health

Columbia, SC, July 21, 2013 --( Columbia businessman and philanthropist, Norman Arnold, recently issued a family challenge gift of $500,000 to Palmetto Health Foundation to benefit Palmetto Health Women’s and Children’s Services. Norman’s challenge was to match additional gifts dollar for dollar, up to $500,000. Hundreds of individual and corporate donors in the community helped Palmetto Health Foundation successfully meet and exceed the challenge within three weeks with more than $700,000 raised.

Norman and his wife, Gerry Sue, have been longtime advocates of public health in our community. Over the years, their passion has been fueled by their own health issues and family health challenges. Seven years ago, Norman and Gerry Sue’s family faced a crisis when their grandson, Aaron, was born prematurely. Aaron’s parents, Lisa and Ben Arnold, faced their second-born child being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Palmetto Health Baptist. Because Lisa was moved by the excellent care Aaron received as well as the compassion she felt as a parent during that difficult time, she joined the Palmetto Health Foundation Board and has been an active member since 2007. The Arnold Family’s spirit of giving back to their community continued when Lisa and Ben gave a $150,000 gift to name the educational suite in the newly renovated Palmetto Health Baptist NICU in 2008.

“Ben and I experienced first-hand the outstanding care of physicians and staff of Palmetto Health. We believe it’s important for this community to have the very best in health care. That’s why our family is committed to improving quality of life for those in our community by enhancing and expanding the available health care options,” said Lisa.

After waging a successful battle against pancreatic cancer, Norman began to actively support public health initiatives not only in South Carolina, but also globally. He has served on many hospital boards, and Gerry Sue has been an active member of the International Board of the Hadassah Medical Center in Tel Aviv for many years. In 2000, the Arnold Family’s $10 million gift to The University of South Carolina was used to endow the Arnold School of Public Health. The purpose of the Arnold Family Challenge Gift was to engage the community to support the many health care needs of women and children served by Palmetto Health.

“Enhancing health care options in our community is my family’s passion, and we’re both excited and humbled to know our community exceeded our challenge,” said Lisa.

Funds raised will be used to support and enhance diverse programs such as the Pediatric Institute for Diabetes and Obesity led by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital as well as CAMP KEMO, Camp Wonderhands and the Child Life department at Children’s Hospital. Because of the gift, Palmetto Health Baptist Women’s Services will continue to provide an exceptional birth experience, and the new Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge hospital will provide an enhanced labor/delivery unit and newborn nursery when it opens early next year. Equipment such as pediatric wheelchairs and a NICU portable X-ray machine also will be funded. The Arnold Family legacy will continue through the newly established Arnold Family Endowment that will support future Women’s and Children’s Services programming at Palmetto Health.

“Being able to positively impact the lives of the people we serve drives everything we do at Palmetto Health,” said CEO Charles D. Beaman Jr. “Our team members are dedicated to bringing our organization’s vision to life every day by providing our patients and their families the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. We are very grateful to the Arnold family for their inspirational challenge gift to help Palmetto Health help others, and to our community’s donors who came together so quickly to meet and exceed the challenge.”

Palmetto Health Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, engages community partners to enhance healthcare for patients and families served by Palmetto Health. For more information, visit or call 803-434-7275.
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Palmetto Health Foundation
Ashley M Dusenbury

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