Wednesday, October 18, 2006

St. Luke?s recognizes Ketchum philanthropist

Judy Atkinson honored for years of public service

Express Staff Writer

The St. Luke's Wood River Foundation board of directors is giving the Nancy Cord Vision of Philanthropy Award to Judy Atkinson, a longtime Ketchum resident and patron of the hospital.

The St. Luke's Wood River Foundation Community Award annually recognizes the considerable achievements of a philanthropic leader. Named for Nancy Cord, who has an unwavering commitment to the Foundation and Medical Center, this award recognizes outstanding achievement in leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism.

In the early 1970s, Atkinson began serving the community by creating a volunteer art program at Hemingway Elementary School, in Ketchum. That was when art was not provided as part of the public school curriculum. At The Community Library, she started the annual Tour of Homes.

She was also was one of the founders of The Community School and served as the honorary chairman of the school's 25th anniversary. Her three children graduated from The Community School, and all five of her grandchildren now attend the private day school in Sun Valley.

Atkinson's relationship with the hospital is longstanding. Her grandmother donated a room to the former Sun Valley-based Moritz Hospital, which was named the "Fancy Snook" room. Atkinson and her husband, Don's, children were born in the Moritz Hospital. When the time came to expand the hospital's services, she served on the campaign cabinet for St. Luke's New Hospital Fund. She also served as president of the St. Luke's Wood River Foundation's board of directors.

"Community philanthropy built our hospital, and it will continue to help us sustain and enhance our current levels of excellence," said Bruce Jensen, CEO of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. "As we make progress on our journey to 'Be America's Finest Community Hospital,' we know that philanthropy and volunteerism, such as Judy's, will be imperative to achieving our vision."

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