Couple's gift supports tomorrow's medical leaders
Howard and Stephanie Kirz believe in the futureand in the young people who will shape it. Dr. Kirz, former medical director at Group Health, and Stephanie, his wife, showed their commitment to that belief with a $100,000 gift to the Foundation.
Half of their donation established the Stephanie and Howard Kirz Endowed Fund for Tomorrow's Medical Leaders. The remaining $50,000 will be awarded as grants through 2006.
"Youth and passion and out-of-the box ways of thinking about things are critical to the success of an organization," said Dr. Kirz. "With these grants, we're trying to both help young medical leaders today and also invest in strong future leaders for tomorrow."
The fund's primary purpose is to help youngand young at heartphysicians from Group Health and its affiliates develop themselves as leaders or develop fresh approaches to organizational leadership. Applicants can seek grants for education, training, personal development, and project support.
For the Kirzs, their gift is a way to show their respect for Group Health and to recognize the support they received early in their own careers. "Both of us had the advantage of older people mentoring and encouraging our unique and youthful ways of looking at things," said Dr. Kirz.
Dr. Kirz joined Group Health in 1972 and served in the Medical Director's office and as medical director from 1983-90. He helped launch emergency medicine as a medical specialty and was just 29 when he co-founded the American College of Emergency Physicians. Meanwhile, Stephanie was 28 when she founded the first of two advertising/public relations agencies she has owned.
"My wife and I believe that investing in the youth of a profession is vital to ensure continued progress," said Dr. Kirz. "Down the road, we hope our gift contributes to creating a generation of senior medical leaders who retain their original values of creativity, innovation and forward thinking."