What Drives Rachel Petrucelli to Raise Funds for UPMC Children’s Hospital?
Every year, a community of more than 30,000 donors from all over the country contributes to ensuring the best possible care for UPMC Children’s patients and families in our region and beyond.
Rachel Petrucelli knows firsthand the mix of fear and uncertainty a parent feels when their child needs medical care. Her oldest daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive at birth, leading to years of working with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh experts to monitor and assist in her growth. During that time, Petrucelli also felt something else: gratitude for the level of care and assistance available to families who need it most, bolstered by the generosity of donors.
Petrucelli, who now serves as president and chief development officer for UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation, is happy to report that, today, her daughter is healthy — and that the foundation remains dedicated to accelerating excellence in a variety of areas for the hospital.
Every year, a community of more than 30,000 donors from all over the country contributes to ensuring the best possible care for UPMC Children’s patients and families in our region and beyond. The Foundation helps support programs that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, such as Child Life, which provides developmental, educational, social and emotional support to hospitalized children. The Foundation also supports free care for families who lack insurance or who can’t afford the cost of care. Donor funds are further used to advance research at UPMC Children’s. While grants often cover more established work, philanthropy supports ideas that are “novel, cutting edge, that are going to be disruptive or a higher financial risk,” Petrucelli says.
“There’s often not much funding to get these ideas off the ground, yet in them could lie the next discovery, the next cure,” she says. “Philanthropic dollars help us support those scientists with new ideas so they have greater success in appealing for larger grants through the NIH.”
And sometimes contributions help families with immediate needs. “I think about the financial burden of caring for a hospitalized child — parking, transportation, food, the care for your children that can’t come into the hospital with you,” says Petrucelli.
“Think of maintaining or adapting your home in order to make sure your child has the best chance to get well. How awful if you’re challenged with financial circumstances that don’t allow you to make the investments you know would be best for your child? We have resources that can help break down those barriers that create disparity in care and in outcomes. And we love that we have members in our community that give fully and generously to support families and help us break down those barriers.”
Becoming a part of the UPMC Children’s donor community is as simple as visiting givetochildrens.org and choosing how you’d like to give from an array of options. Then, mark your calendar for the Foundation’s annual Free Care Fund Telethon airing on KDKA-TV on Dec. 8, and its annual Walk for Children’s in early June.
Like the many fundraising activities the Foundation hosts, these events each bring together a community committed to supporting a nationally renowned resource that Western Pennsylvanians are fortunate to have in their hometown, Petrucelli says.
“It’s very exciting to know how many people across our community are choosing UPMC Children’s among their charitable interests,” says Petrucelli. “We really appreciate them.”
Sponsored content is created and paid for by the marketer.