May 8, 2015
Bob, Mary and Brad met with Mendal Bouknight, President, Piedmont Healthcare Foundation; Dr. Chris Fowler, Executive Director, Piedmont Transplant Institute; Edward Lovern, Chief Operating Officer, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital; Julie Webster, Senior Director Cardiovascular Services, Piedmont Heart Institute. We told them our story and our vision. They told us the history of Piedmont and their transplant program. Heart transplants have only been done at Piedmont since 2012. The tone of this meeting was less emotional; more “business.” We discussed Piedmont’s participation, which immediately led to the discussion of finances. We felt they were trying to figure out if we knew what we were really getting into. And we feel like they got the answer they were looking for. We know that this will not be easy, it will take a lot of money, but we are absolutely committed to doing it. Our passions run high. Brad, especially, connected with Mendal, arguably because of the “Club” and the possibility that they know some of the same people. They will communicate further. Bob and Mary discussed the newly formed relationship with GTF, and Piedmont’s main concern was that The House would be available for all transplant hospitals in the Atlanta area. We assured them it would be. They were of the opinion that the partnership made sense. When we brought up a location, Mendal mentioned that we will run into zoning issues, but as we were leaving, he indicated that he had a couple of ideas in his mind about location. So going forward….Brad and Mendal will meet on Thursday, May 21st. The “Piedmont Team” will meet together to further discuss what was said at the meeting. And Bob and Mary realized that we have to get with the program in regards to social media. The main take-away was very positive and Piedmont will be involved. How will become evident at a later date.
One very interesting discussion revolved around how big our dream really is. Mary told Mendal to please not laugh at her, but her vision was to make the area of transplants as big as the area of cancer, i.e., the Susan B. Koman Foundation. Mendal asked this question….”do you know who Nancy Brinker is?” Well, she is Susan Koman’s sister who early in 1980 sat in front of Mendal and expressed her desire for what is now Susan B. Koman For The Cure. So Mendal said, “no, Mary, I’m not laughing at you.”