Press Release: The 15th Anniversary Crystal Celebration of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Hilton Americas – Houston, generated nearly $800,000. The Charities, which is an integral component of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, makes a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable populations throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Texas by providing support and knowledge to organizations and empowering communities. To commemorate this milestone, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, multiple Emmy®-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, served as the keynote speaker to a sell-out crowd of more than 800.

“Over the past 15 years, The Charities has touched the lives of an estimated 15 million people and has invested $88 million in grants to nonprofit community health service programs such as the Houston Food Bank, Refugee Services of Texas and Healthcare for the Homeless Houston to name just a few,” said Patricia Gail Bray, PhD, executive director of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities.  “This direct contribution coupled with 15 years of research and community capacity-building services is valued at $990 million in community benefit.”

Bishop Andy Doyle, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Patricia Gail Bray, Flo McGee; Photo by Priscilla Dickson

This event marked the annual recognition of an individual from a nonprofit organization in the mission field of the diocese who demonstrates outstanding leadership and collaboration in advancing community health for the underserved. This year The Community Health Leadership Award winner is Dr. Aijaz Ali Khowaja, founding CEO of the Ibn Sina Foundation. The Ibn Sina Foundation was created in 2001 to provide high-quality and affordable medical and dental services to the underserved, indigent and low-income residents of Houston.  Its clinics have provided comprehensive services to more than 300,000 individuals since its inception, and this year will help more than 70,000.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities is the largest non-profit, non-operating public charity dedicated solely to health and well-being. Aligning with St. Luke’s mission to provide care “to all of God’s children,” The Charities’ particular mission is to improve the health of the most vulnerable and underserved. Whether it is food for the hungry, health and dental care for children in pain, or job training for a single parent, The Charities lends its considerable support to non-profit organizations dedicated to community service and with proven track records of success.

Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, was chosen as the keynote speaker because of his health policy experience on disaster recovery, healthcare reform, fitness, military medicine, HIV/AIDS, and other areas that reflect many of the initiatives the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities supports. Having reported on Sri Lanki’s tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, the flooding in Pakistan and most recently Hurricane Sandy, he understands the importance of a public charity that supports the body, mind and spirit of those in need.

For more information about St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, please visit www.slehc.org.

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