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Pardee Hospital Foundation celebrates regional growth and showcases Physician and Philanthropists of the Year at Annual Gala

Event proceeds benefit expansion of cardiology services

Hendersonville, NC – Before hundreds of guests at its annual gala, Saturday, June 3 at Blue Ridge Community College, Pardee Hospital Foundation announced their 2023 Physician of the Year and Philanthropists of the Year and celebrated expanded services throughout the region. 

Neurologist and UNC Health Pardee Chief of Staff, Dr. Joel Callahan — a member of the Pardee team for 12 years — received this year’s Physician of the Year honors. Those who nominated him, including patients, community members and fellow medical providers, had much to say about Dr. Callahan’s focus on the people he serves, calling him a leader and advocate, committed to providing — and growing — top-notch care for the people of this community. 

“It’s amazing,” Callahan said after learning he received the award. “Being part of the Pardee team is something that I feel great about because I know I’m working for a place that is doing good in our community.” 

Dick and Nancy Burns were honored as outstanding philanthropists. Pardee Hospital Foundation Chair Marilyn Gordon made this announcement, characterizing them as humble, kind and authentic. “They are doers,” she said. “They are a powerful part of our UNC Health Pardee community who give selfless gifts of time, talent and treasure.” 

In addition to being generous donors to the Pardee Hospital Foundation, the Burns were recognized for their service greeting patients and families at the hospital’s information desk, helping as trained “transporters” who assist patients to their cars after medical appointments, and supporting those receiving treatment at Pardee’s Cancer Center. Importantly, they were also integral to Pardee’s early work to expand cardiac services as members of the cardiac committee. 

This year’s event also focused on Pardee’s commitment to expanding cardiology services, which is one of several imminent growth priorities for the organization. In the last year, UNC Health Pardee had almost 688,000 patient encounters while working towards expanding the hospital’s reach with the opening of practices in new communities and by growing capacity in cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and primary care with the addition of new providers. 

The 2023 gala was generously underwritten by companies and individuals including Platinum Sponsor, Norm’s Minit Mart; Silver Sponsor, First Citizens Bank; and Bronze Sponsors Carolina Village, Champion Comfort, Hall and Sonja Waddell, Healthcare Outcomes Performance Company (HOPCo), Hendersonville Health & Rehab, The Lodge at Mills River, StoneCreek and Wilsonart.

Pardee Hospital Foundation was approved as a non-profit Foundation in January 1996. The Foundation exists to educate and inspire individuals, businesses, and organizations to support Pardee Hospital services and programs while advancing the health and well-being of the community through prevention and treatment. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated over $30 million in pledges and cash gifts for Pardee services. To learn more about the Pardee Hospital Foundation visit pardeehospitalfoundation.org.

UNC Health Pardee is a not-for-profit community healthcare system and is managed by UNC Health. The hospital, founded in 1953, is licensed for 222 acute care beds. Pardee has several locations separate from the main campus, including a comprehensive physician practice network, a cancer center, four urgent care locations and six orthopedic clinics. For more information or to find a physician, visit www.pardeehospital.org.

Andrew Schmidt

Andrew Schmidt joined Pardee Hospital Foundation in November 2023 as a Donor Engagement Officer. Andrew began his career in fundraising at his alma mater, Sewanee: The University of the South, as an assistant director in charge of reunions and volunteers, working on milestone giving campaigns as well as alumni engagement and stewardship events. Andrew holds a BA in Philosophy from Sewanee and recently earned a MA in Applied Arts & Sciences from the Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Andrew previously served the Henderson Country community as an Advancement Analyst at nearby Kanuga Conference Center, where he was responsible for donor database administration, prospect research, and raising funds in support of a $15M capital campaign centered on a comprehensive renovation of the then-47-year-old Kanuga Lake Inn. Andrew looks forward to helping advance the mission of UNC Health and Pardee Hospital Foundation across the Western North Carolina region, and particularly in Transylvania County. When he’s not out and about visiting with donors, you can usually find Andrew scampering around DuPont and Pisgah with his wife, Sara and preschool-age son, Arthur.