Virginia G. Piper – A Portrait of Philanthropy
In celebrating Scottsdale Healthcare’s half century of service, there is one individual whose devotion to helping others has left a remarkable legacy. This person joined in the circle of support some 10 years after City Hospital of Scottsdale opened. She went on to become one of the most passionate and inspirational philanthropists in all of Scottsdale Healthcare’s history. That person is Virginia Galvin Piper.
Mrs. Piper’s long association with Scottsdale Healthcare began in the early 1970s. Impressed with the outstanding care several family members received when they were hospitalized, she, in turn, expressed her gratitude by beginning her philanthropic support of the growing health care system. “Virginia really paved the way for others to get involved with Scottsdale Healthcare,” says Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation Executive Vice President Laura Grafman.
Mrs. Piper’s philosophy of helping others was a simple one. Her stewardship of giving is one she devoutly followed happily through the years. In her own words, simply stated, “It has been my privilege to ‘carry through’ my husband’s wishes in philanthropy with a firm commitment of truth and honesty in my relationships with charitable organizations and their multitude of good faith missions to improve our world.”
She went on to say, “In our own lives, here in the world, we all have an opportunity to do ‘good things’ on a daily basis for others, and doing them in an unselfish manner; providing our world and its people, through giving, an improved beautiful culture, places to live, work, and grow healthy families; to enjoy the arts, religion, youth services, educational and scientific explorations, and improved senior adult living environments.”
Throughout the Valley, there are numerous examples of the impact of Mrs. Piper’s good works and Scottsdale Healthcare is just one that demonstrates the difference she has made in the lives of others.
Known affectionately as “the living room philanthropist,” when Mrs. Piper became involved in a cause, she put her whole heart into it and then went on to inspire others to the same. The Piper Outpatient Surgery Center and the Virginia G. Piper Special Care Units at both Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn and Shea Medical Centers are just a few examples of Mrs. Piper’s generosity and leadership. Seeing these projects completed in her lifetime gave her a great sense of joy and satisfaction. In addition, she spearheaded the first Scottsdale Memorial Honor Ball in 1970, which, today and through the years, has contributed more than $10 million to benefit patient and community programs and services.
Even after her death in 1999, the foundation which bears her name continues her legacy and philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening the community.
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, the state’s first comprehensive cancer center, stands in testament to Scottsdale Healthcare’s most gracious and generous donor. “Virginia gave from her heart,” Laura says.
The impact of Mrs. Piper’s philanthropy is far-reaching, and her words and deeds will be remembered for many years to come by Scottsdale Healthcare patients, employees and the organizations she supported.
Reprinted, with permission, from Scottsdale Healthcare's Heartbeat magazine