The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust helped shape Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) into what it is today, and now its legacy will live on with the formation of the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health.
The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust was formed in 1975 upon the death of Leonard Parker Pool, founder and longtime Chief Executive Officer of Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Pool was the driving force behind the construction of what is now Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest and directed that the Trust be named as a memorial for his wife, Dorothy Rider Pool, who died of cancer in 1967.
Pool’s vision was for LVHN to serve as “a superior regional hospital” that would provide “superior regional health care for the citizens of the region.” Pool established a 50-year lifespan for the Trust to support that vision.
With the planned termination of the Trust approaching in 2025, the Trustees of The Pool Trust and LVHN Board and Executive Leadership have created the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health as the entity to carry on Pool’s legacy.
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit subsidiary of LVHN led by a governing Board of Trustees, the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health will work with all partners who seek to achieve the goal of influencing all factors that contribute to health, with specific emphasis on root challenges related to education, housing, food security, community well-being and access to medical care.
“The health of our overall community is only as good as the least healthy segments of our community, and these are often our most vulnerable citizens,” says Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer. “In almost every way, Pool’s original vision has been satisfied. However, the conditions that allow communities to become healthier go well beyond hospital care, and it is LVHN’s responsibility to enable those conditions as well. Just as the mission of The Pool Trust stated that ‘the resources of the Trust will be utilized by LVHN to have a dramatic, demonstrable and sustained impact on the health of the citizens of the Lehigh Valley,’ the new Institute for Health will utilize Pool Trust funds to create opportunities to identify and develop evidence-based methods to improve health status.”
“The health of our overall community is only as good as the least healthy segments of our community, and these are often our most vulnerable citizens,” says Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health will report to LVHN Chief Physician Executive Robert X. Murphy Jr., MD, with Edward F. Meehan, MPH, serving as the Institute for Health’s inaugural Executive Director. Currently, Meehan also is Executive Director of The Rider-Pool Foundation and previously served in the same role for The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust.
The Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health Trustees are:
- John P. Jones III, Chairman of the Board/Retired Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
- Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer, Accenture
- John Malloy, PhD, Executive Chairman, Victaulic
- Debbie Salas-Lopez, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President, Community and Population Health, Northwell Health
- William “Bill” Spence, Retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, PPL Corporation
- John D. Stanley, Esq., Retired Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, Air Products
- James O. Woolliscroft, MD, MACP, FRCP, Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine and Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School
During Meehan’s 38-year tenure, The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust committed more than $160 million to LVHN programs and services that supported Leonard Pool’s mission. The Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health’s vision is to provide meaningful and sustained improvements in overall health across diverse groups through innovations targeting key issues affecting our region.
To fulfill the vision, the Institute for Health will:
- Collaborate with individuals and agencies at all levels of the community, fostering partnerships across sectors to build capacity for leaders to work together in addressing complex social issues affecting health
- Work in authentic partnership with local residents to develop community-led approaches to improving health and well-being
- Identify, measure and track key factors that impact health
- Identify, develop and support innovative programs and initiatives that address the social determinants of health
- Learn from and collaborate with nationally recognized experts to establish the Lehigh Valley as a center of innovation for health improvement
The geographic focus of the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health will be in the Lehigh Valley, beginning in Allentown, with a long-term goal of bringing the lessons learned to all communities served by LVHN.