Perpetuating Quality Care at Blank Children's Hospital
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines has been an integral part of Bill and Liz Goodwin's lives for many years. Bill's family connection goes back two generations--his father served on the Iowa Methodist board for more than 30 years and was a childhood friend to the Blank family as well as John Stoddard. Bill served on the UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Foundation board for 13 years. For Liz, the connection with Blank Children's Hospital is especially personal. In 1949, she spent five months at Blank Children's fighting polio.
"It was packed," Liz says of her time at Blank. "It was probably the first opportunity I had to get to know a lot of different kids from around Iowa." Not all memories are pleasant-- she can recall the isolation rooms children stayed in for two to three weeks, the huge iron lung apparatus and specialized polio treatments. Yet Liz also recalls wonderful time spent in the playroom, where the walls were designed with Disney murals; the aquarium her parents donated for children to enjoy; and walks to the neonatal unit to look at the babies.
Following her stay at Blank, Liz returned to Iowa Methodist once a week throughout high school to go to physical therapy with Mr. Peters. It was a long process, but Liz's fight against polio helped to mold her into a lifelong educator and community volunteer.
Bill, who followed in the career path of his grandfather and father in the brick, tile and concrete block industry, was also born into the tradition of giving back to the community. Recently, the Goodwins furthered the family legacy of philanthropy with a gift to the Blank Children's Hospital's Wishes Endowment Campaign.
Bill's mother had previously set up an endowment with the Human Gene Therapy Research Institute in honor of Bill's father. When the organization went private, the funding stayed with Iowa Methodist. "With my wholehearted agreement, we re-designated that gift to Blank," Bill explains. At the same time, the Goodwins doubled the amount of the gift.
Bill and Liz give for a simple reason--so that Blank will maintain its high standard as a children's hospital. Bill says, "We're just perpetuating a good institution."