$450K gift supports Nuvance Healths digital health strategy

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For nearly two decades, Danbury couple has donated $1 million to support strategic initiatives

Today, consumers use their high-tech mobile devices for nearly everything — from ordering groceries to streaming entertainment to transferring their bank funds. And one Nuvance Health donation will help ensure people can use their smartphones to improve their health.

“The majority of traffic to retail websites now comes from smartphones, but the healthcare industry has lagged behind in this key trend,” said John Patrick of Danbury, Conn., who with his wife, Joanne, recently donated $450,000 to Nuvance Health to support the Connecticut and New York-based seven-hospital system’s digital health strategies.

There is tremendous potential for digital health, according to John Patrick, formerly Vice President of Internet Technology at IBM and author of six books. “mHealth (mobile health) will make getting an appointment for an X-ray or a physician visit as easy as buying a household item or booking an airline flight online.”

For example, a simple text can communicate, store, retrieve and remind patients of their health status or deliver messages promoting healthy behaviors and choices.

“Digital health is a core element of our 2025 strategic plan,” Nuvance Health President and CEO Dr. John M. Murphy said. “The Patricks’ generous gift will help us place the needed focus on this key area.”

In addition to financial support, John Patrick recently joined Nuvance Health’s Digital Patient Experience Executive Committee.

“His decades of experience in technology and his service on the Danbury Hospital and Western Connecticut Health Network boards of directors brings us a unique perspective to help build out a digital health strategy to serve our patients,” said Geoffry Hook, Nuvance Health’s Chief Information Officer.

Over the past 20 years, the Patricks have made numerous gifts totaling $1 million to key areas of Nuvance Health programs including oncology radiation therapy, breast cancer, neonatal care, mobile pediatric care and nursing education. Their first major donation was $100,000 in 2006 to enable the launch of a women’s cardiac care program. Joanne Patrick was formerly a coronary care nurse specialist and she recognized research had found men’s and women’s cardiovascular health and heart attack symptoms were different. The cardiac gift was followed in 2011 with a $100,000 donation to support the launch of the Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute and an additional gift in 2013 to enable a Cell Generation Laboratory at the institute. In 2016, the Patricks donated $250,000 to help launch the system’s telehealth program, which has become essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth, or connected care, is a key element of Nuvance Health’s digital health strategy. It enables patients to see their doctors remotely using a desktop, laptop or mobile device.

“Philanthropic support is critical in these difficult times,” Nuvance Health Chief Development Officer Grace Linhard said. “John and Joanne have a history of helping to add focus to leading-edge healthcare initiatives, which are so important to the health system’s long-term focus on technology directly benefiting our patients. We hope other philanthropists will join John and Joanne to build on the investment they have made in our future.”

Find out how you can support Nuvance Health’s efforts.