Passion for Health Care Sparks Thoughtful Giving
Reprinted from the Spring 2017 issue of Blueprint.
Pat and Bob Levinson’s 61-year marriage was a happy and fulfilling one. Bob had a gift for business and a deep fascination with public affairs and the performing and visual arts. Pat found hospitals and health care to be her passion. She served on the board of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, as president of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary, and, beginning in 1981, as a Mount Sinai trustee; she also co-founded New Alternatives for Children, to help those with complex medical conditions transition to loving homes.
Pat’s keen interest in children’s health led to her deep concern, too, with nursing, the importance of a diverse health care work force, the need for universal health insurance coverage, and the challenges of creating progressive health policy that balances access to care, quality, and cost.
At United Hospital Fund, she found a font of knowledge and commitment that suited her probing, creative mind—and her desire to focus on some of health care’s biggest issues and concerns. Initially, her UHF involvement was a way of extending her hospital work, but in 1994 she joined the board and made a serious commitment to UHF’s mission of building a more effective health care system for every New Yorker. She remained active on the board for more than 20 years, becoming vice chairman in 2006.
After Pat’s death from cancer in September 2015, Bob informed UHF of two distinct and very generous gifts that Pat and he had planned—a share of her estate, as designated in her will, and a grant through the newly created Robert A. and Patricia S. Levinson Award Fund at The New York Community Trust, to support the work of a “Patricia S. Levinson Fellow” at UHF, to be named annually. The first fellow was selected earlier this year—Suzanne Brundage, program director of UHF’s Children’s Health Initiative.
Bob says that Pat and he both wanted to ensure that UHF and the other organizations they supported would use their gifts for core work. “I’m very pleased that the fellowship, in this first year, is advancing children’s health, Pat’s special passion. Pat cared deeply about UHF, and her involvement reinforced what makes it so worth supporting.”