For Immediate Release; Contact: Aida Pelton,, 415.438.5630

Dignity Health Philanthropy Presents - 2015 Education Summit
Philanthropic Learning and Networking

Top Performing Philanthropic Service AreaSan Francisco, CA (February 6, 2015) – Dignity Health Philanthropy hosted the fourth annual Education Summit in Long Beach, CA on February 4-5th. The summit brought over 175 participants from all 31 Dignity Health philanthropic foundations. Sessions at the event covered a wide range of professional development topics.

The Education Summit is an opportunity for all foundation staff to develop skills in areas that will enhance their support of our local hospitals. The summit was underwritten by several sponsors, including: eLead Resources, Blackbaud, GreenOak Consulting, CCS – Fundraising, Development Services, Strategic Consulting, C.I. Partners Direct, The Giving Collaborative, Hotel Maya, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch & US Trust. Our sponsors allowed Dignity Health to offer high quality, low cost, professional development.

During the summit, the Phillies Awards were presented in the categories of: Largest Philanthropic Gift, Top Performing Service Area, and Foundation of the Year. The award ceremony was held in the newly created waterfront pavilion at Hotel Maya with Cirque-style acrobats entertaining the crowd.  “The Phillies Awards is such an exciting time, all the hard work and accomplishments the foundations have done the prior year is acknowledged and celebrated” stated Fred Najjar, senior vice president of Dignity Health Philanthropy.

The nominees for the Largest Philanthropic Gift were, California Hospital Medical Center Foundation, Saint Francis Foundation, and St. Joseph’s Foundation. The winner was, St. Joseph’s Foundation of Phoenix with a $19 million gift from Doris and John Norton. The chief philanthropy officer, Brian Mortenson accepted the award on behalf of the St. Joseph’s Foundation.

The nominees for the Top Performing Philanthropic Service Area were Arizona, Central California, and Southern California East (SoCal East). The winners were SoCal East. The SoCal East foundations are comprised of: California Hospital Medical Center Foundation, Community Hospital of San Bernardino Foundation, Glendale Memorial Health Foundation, St. Bernardine Medical Center Foundation, and St. Mary Medical Center Foundation. The SoCal East service area transferred over two times their operating expenses to their hospitals, had well-balanced fundraising programs, and a nine percent increase in fundraising revenue over the previous three years. Accepting the awards were the chief philanthropy officers from each foundation.

The Foundation of the Year award is awarded to the foundation that transferred at least two times its operating expense to their hospital, and had a well-balanced fundraising program. The nominees were Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation, Northridge Hospital Foundation, and St. Mary Medical Center Foundation of Long Beach. The winner was Northridge Hospital Foundation, Brain Hammel, the chief philanthropy officer and his team accepted the award.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Paul J. Zak, presented his findings on the rising levels of oxytocin and how it relates to an increase of trust. Dr. Zak is the author of “The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works”. His current research is showing that oxytocin acts as a “moral molecule” which is believed to be responsible for virtuous behavior in individuals.

Dignity Health Philanthropy has already announced the 2016 Education Summit will be held on January 28-29th in Anaheim, CA.