The Star Democrat

F. Graham Lee retires from UM Memorial Hospital Foundation

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EASTON — F. Graham Lee, vice president of philanthro­py for University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, is set to retire Jan. 7, after serving 45 years as a fundraisin­g profession­al.

Lee first served at Memorial Hospital Foundation from 1989 to 2002, and then again from 2012 to the present. During his tenure, Lee worked with volunteers to complete two successful capital campaigns — a $7.5 million campaign launched in 1989 for the renovation and expansion of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, and a $6 million campaign for the establishm­ent of the Clark Comprehens­ive Breast Center on Martin Court in Easton in 2014, with a grand opening in June 2016.

In addition, Lee engaged hundreds of community members and volunteers to assist in raising vital funds to support the advancemen­t of health care services on the Mid-Shore. Through annual appeals and special events such as the annual golf tournament to benefit hospital services, crab feasts to benefit UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown and clay shoot tournament­s to benefit the Clark Comprehens­ive Breast Center, Lee raised several million dollars for community health care during his tenure. He also created planned giving opportunit­ies to meet evolving health care needs, such as the purchase of new medical technologi­es, facility renovation­s and support for health care profession­als in obtaining specialize­d education to advance their skills.

“Graham Lee is an icon in our community,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health. “His love for people and his dedication to helping Shore Regional Health secure the financial resources needed to provide comprehens­ive, accessible health care is remarkable. As a major ambassador for our brand and the loving and compassion­ate care we provide, Graham will be deeply missed.”

“A good fundraiser must be fearless and aggressive, yet lovable and charming

— a ‘friendly pit bull,’” said Charlie Capute, chair, UM Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. “That describes my good friend Graham Lee. He is a fundraisin­g master. I love visiting with him, on hospital business or personal. Health care philanthro­py is a niche profession and Graham does it better than anyone I have ever seen or been associated with. He will be missed in many ways.”

Lee began his fundraisin­g career at Cape Fear Council, Boy Scouts of America, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He also served at Geisinger Medical Center Foundation in Danville, Pennsylvan­ia, where he organized volunteers to help raise funds for the first rural Ronald McDonald House.

Lee’s resume also includes positions at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, Baptist Health System in Knoxville, Tennessee, the MidShore Community Foundation in Easton, UM St. Joseph’s Medical Center Foundation in Towson and the YMCA of the Chesapeake in Easton.

Upon retirement, Lee said he plans to spend more time with his wife, three children and three grandchild­ren.

“I’m a lucky man!” he said. “I’ve had a great career and was able to share the excitement of life with an awesome community and donors who care about making life better on the Eastern Shore.”

“I’m so grateful to have enjoyed the support of the Foundation Board, senior leadership and hundreds of dedicated volunteers over the years. I hope that going forward, local community members throughout the five-county region served by UM Shore Regional Health will continue to value and support the advancemen­t of health care services that are so important to the overall quality of life we enjoy.”

Individual­s interested in making a gift in honor of Lee can send a check to UM Memorial Hospital Foundation, IHO Graham Lee, Post Office Box 1846, Easton, MD 21601.

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F. GRAHAM LEE

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