Strong ties to the com­mu­nity

Thorn­ton em­ploys ex­pe­ri­ence to help guide sys­tem’s growth

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

James Pa­trick “Pat” Thorn­ton has had a life-long pas­sion for St. Vin­cent’s Health­care, dat­ing back to 1935 when he was born at the Jack­sonville, Fla.based sys­tem’s flag­ship fa­cil­ity. Since then, he has filled a va­ri­ety of roles at the two-hospi­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion. As a 12-yearold boy, he sold news­pa­pers at St. Vin­cent’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter River­side by go­ing from room to room. His loy­alty con­tin­ued as an adult— all of his chil­dren and most of his grand­chil­dren were born there.

He also has a for­mal con­nec­tion. Thorn­ton, 76, joined the board of di­rec­tors of St. Vin­cent’s Health­care Foun­da­tion in 1986, serv­ing as chair­man from 1995 to 1996. He also served on the board of St. Vin­cent’s Health­Care from 2002 through 2011, in­clud­ing a term as chair­man from 2009 to 2011. He still at­tends meet­ings, of­fers ad­vice and is an hon­orary mem­ber of the foun­da­tion.

Through­out his years on both boards, Thorn­ton re­lied on his busi­ness acu­men, which he honed as a de­vel­oper of rental apart­ments, to nur­ture the foun­da­tion and the health sys­tem, which is part of St. Louis-based As­cen­sion Health.

“His knowl­edge of the is­sues and the prob­lems and the chal­lenges is in­valu­able,” says Moody Chisholm, pres­i­dent and CEO of St. Vin­cent’s Health­care.

For all of his ac­com­plish­ments, Thorn­ton has been se­lected as the 2012 Trustee of the Year rep­re­sent­ing not-for-profit health­care sys­tems.

When Thorn­ton joined the foun­da­tion board in 1986, it had been in ex­is­tence for only two years. That is why Thorn­ton and the other board mem­bers set aside 10% of the money raised each year in an en­dowed fund; the re­main­ing 90% was ear­marked for spe­cific projects.

Thorn­ton’s lead­er­ship also helped guide the health sys­tem board.

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