The 28th annual Dreambuilders was another smashing success, bringing in over $2.649 million to support Virginia Mason’s upcoming new obstetrics (OB) program and birth center.
“The event wasn’t just a fundraiser - it was an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate this next chapter for Virginia Mason,” says our Chief of Pediatrics, Michael Dudas, MD, who co-chaired the event.
A full house of Virginia Mason supporters attended Dreambuilders, which was held May 11, 2019, at the Westin Seattle. Guests included Virginia Mason employees and supporters, local philanthropists and corporate partners. They enjoyed a five-star meal prepared by the Westin’s chefs and entertainment from Alter Ego, a Canadian cover band that belted out hits like 24k Magic by Bruno Mars.
“Dreambuilders is one of our top fundraisers,” says Eileen Harte, Virginia Mason Foundation’s director of events. “We look forward to it every year, and it just keeps getting bigger and better.”
Live and silent auctions were a big part of this year’s event, with guests purchasing everything from fine wine to luxury vacations. This financial support will play a vital role in launching the birth center, which we plan to open in 2020 in partnership with CHI Franciscan Health. This will combine our expertise with that of CHI Franciscan’s OB team, who brought 9,000 new babies into our region last year.
Bringing Obstetrics to Virginia Mason
Motivated by their desire to help the birth center become a reality, Dr. Dudas, Virginia Mason gynecologist Linda Mihalov, MD, Sylvia Lago, Gregg Blodgett, Jane Blodgett and Ron Hanlon chaired the event. They spent many hours rallying employees and community members to attend.
“Virginia Mason is known for ensuring quality, safety and a great patient experience, but we haven’t had the opportunity to apply that to obstetrics,” Dr. Mihalov says. “Using our philosophy to serve mothers and babies will be a big innovation and excellent addition to our women’s health services.”
For Drs. Dudas and Mihalov, offering obstetrics at Virginia Mason for the first time in two decades will be invaluable, building a bridge between gynecology and pediatrics and enabling patients to stay within the health system they know and trust.
“I firmly believe the new center will become one of the most significant milestones in our organization’s history — and proceeds from Dreambuilders will help make that a reality,” says Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary Kaplan, MD.