Supporting a Grandfather’s Legacy

Supporting a Grandfather’s Legacy

Recently, an unexpected donation arrived in the mail. It came from Penn Mason McClatchey Sr., the grandson of one of the founders of Virginia Mason, John Blackford, MD. In 1920, Dr. Blackford and a group of physicians pioneered an innovative approach to healthcare – multispecialty medicine — and opened a hospital and a clinic that grew to include a research center—all in one place to provide the finest patient care possible.

When Penn received part of an annuity from his mother’s estate that was originally owned by Dr. Blackford, his first thought was to donate the proceeds to grandfather’s enterprise. “Not only was my grandfather a founder, but while my mother was a chemistry student at University of Washington in 1941, she held a summer job at Virginia Mason titrating blood sugars for the kids with diabetes,” says Penn.

Giving to Diabetes Research

Penn also has another cause close to his heart. He and his wife Ann have three sons with type 1 diabetes; Mason, William and Forester, though no one in the larger family group has the disease. “We all live in the Southeast or they would probably be patients of Virginia Mason and participate in research at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason,” he notes. “Please designate this money for type 1 diabetes research towards Benaroya Research Institute’s efforts to cure this disease. I’m sure my grandfather would be pleased.”

It turns out that the McClatchey’s support diabetes research in many ways and connect with Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) even though they live in the Southeast. All three sons participate in Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international clinical research network, which is led by BRI.

We hope the McClatchey family can visit Virginia Mason to see breakthrough research at BRI and the legacy of a grandfather that has grown into a large, innovative health system of 6,000 team members and nine locations. “My grandfather would be humbled and amazed,” says Penn.

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