by Paula M. Riley

Chestnut Hill Hospital presented a $10,000 donation to the Chestnut Hill Community Fund. (From left) Chestnut Hill Hospital Director of Communications, Cathy Brzozowski, CEO Brooks Turkel, and Community Fund Drive co-chairs Tolis Vardakis and Jane Piotrowski. (Photo by Paula M. Riley)

The Chestnut Hill Community Fund Drive got a big boost last Friday when Chestnut Hill Hospital CEO Brooks Turkel presented Fund Drive co-chairs Jane Piotrowski and Tolis Vardakis with a $10,000 check.

Turkel views this contribution as another example of how Chestnut Hill Hospital works meets the needs of the community.

“We are here to serve,” says Turkel, “whether in the operating room, emergency department or to help out financially.”

Beyond these contributions, the Chestnut Hill Hospital tries to be a good neighbor by offering community programs and shared leadership.  The hospital provides meeting space for community organizations and regularly offers public healthcare screenings for breast and skin cancer. Many hospital leaders sit on community board. Turkel is a Chestnut Hill Business Association board member.

In examining opportunities to make financial contributions to the community, Turkel is pleased to have the Community Fund as an option. He said he respects the Fund leadership’s ability to prioritize and balance its distributions.

“We wanted to partner with an established organization that was close to the community needs,” he said.

The Pastorius Park Concert Series, classes at the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment, the Children’s Park in Chestnut Hill (Jenks Playground), Chestnut Hill Meals on Wheels, Chestnut Hill Garden District and Teenagers, Inc. are just a few of the Fund’s beneficiaries.

These organizations are required to submit an application and provide relevant financial information and documentation.  Applying organizations attend a meeting with Budget and Finance Committee members to defend their applications. The Fund is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization, guided by IRS law which allows only for the allocation of collected monies to other charitable organizations and community building projects.

Fund Drive co-chairs Jane Piotrowski and Tolis Vardakis hope that community members and local businesses are inspired by the support given by Chestnut Hill Hospital.

“We know there are others out there who want to make significant contributions to the Fund,” Piotrowski said. “We welcome you to do so.”

The drive runs from late November through March and has a goal of $105,000 this year.  With the hospital’s contribution, the fund has received approximately $68,000.

Chestnut Hill Hospital has long been a supporter of Chestnut Hill Community Association events.  For the past two years, they have been the lead sponsor of the Holiday House Tour, and this year served as lead sponsor of the Black & White Gala.  Abzoolutely and Abzoolutely II  were sponsored by the Hospital, and, in 2009, they partnered with the Community Association to bring back the Main Street Fair.

Their community support extends beyond Chestnut Hill to Green Tree Healthcare Foundation, St. Catherine Medical Clinic in Germantown and sponsorship of Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.

“We plan to continue to expand our role in supporting the community,” Turkel said.  He describes working with Vardakis and Piotrowski as “easy and exciting” and is always open to hear their many ideas for community programs.

“The spirit of supporting our community personally and professionally is what makes the employees, physicians, trustees, and volunteers at Chestnut Hill Hospital very special,” he said.

Donations to the Chestnut Hill Community Fund can be made at