The Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation recognized three individuals for their commitment to philanthropy during the annual awards ceremony at the National Conference Center last week. Almost 150 colleagues, supporters and family were in attendance to honor Ruth Sims, Dr. Elizabeth Simms and Cindy Chambers.
The three received awards for going “above and beyond” in their efforts to encourage philanthropy at the hospital, through gifts of time, talent and treasure.
“It is critical to the success and growth of our programs to stop for a moment and acknowledge the resources that are contributed to the hospital to make it a place of excellence for our patients, our employees and the community,” Foundation Director Pam Maroulis said.
The first award, named in honor of the hospital’s first patient, jockey Pee Wee Rose, went to Sims, the patient relations representative for Patient Access. The Rose Award is given to an ILH employee who exemplifies the hospital’s commitment to the community through excellence in care and a broad understanding of the importance of philanthropy. Sims is a 15-year employee, who was cited for providing service, resolve and positive patient interaction in her work ethic. During her career at the hospital, Sims has occupied a number of positions, including serving as co-chair of the 2007 and 2008 Employee Giving Campaigns, where she helped create an atmosphere for teamwork and encouraged employees to give for causes close to their hearts. Her leadership contributed to a 450 percent increase in employee giving. She also has spearheaded humanitarian projects in Africa and many other projects with a focus on helping those in crisis.
The winner of The Caduceus Award was oncologist Dr. Elisabeth Simms one of Loudoun’s early medical specialists. Named for the symbol of the American medical profession, two serpents encircling a staff and flanked by wings, the award honored Simms for her lifelong work in the healing arts and her work in the philanthropy field. Cited for her “reverence for the complex work of healing,” Simms began her career in Leesburg in 1979, treating cancer patients and those in the palliative care setting of Hospice home care. Simms retired from active practice in 2008, at which time she and her husband, Larry, contributed $100,000 to the hospital to help create a family lounge in the eight-bed oncology unit. Simms’ award citation said it was typical of Simms to retire with a focus on the hospital, and not on herself.
The Golden Helix award was named for the spiral decorations that formed the staircase found in the original hospital on West Market Street in Leesburg. The award is given to a volunteer who has dedicated his or her time and resources to impact philanthropy at the hospital and by so doing improve the quality of patients’ lives by making the institution the best it can be.
The award cited Chambers’s outstanding record in raising donations for local, national and international charities, including ILHF, where she has helped bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital foundation in less than two years. Chambers is a member of the ILHF Board of Directors and also is a member of Loudoun charity 100 Women Strong.
Last year, Chambers launched “The Beamer Book Series,” relating the adventures of a therapy dog that teaches children about challenging life events, such as illness, and helps reduce their fears. The net proceeds from the series will be donated to various charities, including ILHF. Proceeds from the first book, Beamer Visits The Emergency Room, resulted in $18,000 being given by Chambers to the hospital for the Pediatric Emergency Department. The first three books in the series are available at Amazon.com and other book sellers.