NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) was founded as Evanston Emergency Hospital through acts of volunteerism and financial generosity with the mission to serve the medical needs of the poor. In its early years, the hospital operated almost exclusively for charity patients. At that time, no benevolent volunteer donor had a greater impact on the financial stability and survival of the young and precarious hospital than Amanda Louisa Buchanan Patten. She adopted the hospital as her principal charity and encouraged her husband, James, who had made a Chicago-based fortune in the grain market, to join her in her gift-giving. During his lifetime, James contributed close to $1 million in cash, helped purchase real estate to enable expansion and contributed to new construction as the institution grew.
Mrs. Patten served on the Board of Directors from 1898 until her death in 1935, acting as vice president for 30 of those years. She formed the first Women’s Auxiliary and was particularly devoted to the wellbeing of the student nurses. Her profound acts of generosity inspired her brother-in-law George and her son John to create legacy trusts that continue providing NorthShore much-needed income to this day.
Charitable gifts often result in tangible outcomes almost immediately. However, the true impact of a generous life lived may not be fully realized for many years. Amanda Patten was driven by a heartfelt vision and invested in that future. She would be gratified and amazed by today’s NorthShore, her legacy.
To personalize your gift to NorthShore while supporting your philanthropic values reach out to Kate Chappell, JD, Director of Planned Giving at NorthShore Foundation.