David & Linda Hughes - Steadfast Partners in Philanthropy

For more than three decades, David and Linda Hughes have partnered with Orlando Health to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare in Central Florida.

When David’s daughter Kristy received a diagnosis at birth that would require heart surgery in a year and follow-up treatment, David found himself traveling to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for her care. At the time, Orlando did not have a hospital dedicated to caring for children and their serious conditions. Thankfully, Kristy did well with her heart surgery and follow-up care.

This experience became a catalyst for David to become involved with several pediatricians in Central Florida who also understood the need for a hospital dedicated to babies, women and children. When asked, David agreed to chair the campaign to raise
$10 million, which led to the opening of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 1989, the first facility of its kind in the region. David’s generous support for this campaign also led to the naming of the Hughes Center for Fetal Diagnostics, today located in Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

David’s involvement didn’t stop in the late 1980s. He and his wife, Linda, have generously supported every major effort Orlando Health has launched since then. When the time came to build Winnie Palmer Hospital, due to the rapid growth in community need, David once again agreed to not only chair the campaign but also pledge another leadership gift.

David and Linda not only understand the importance of dedicated care for babies, women and children locally; they are also major supporters of the comprehensive care offered throughout ORMC. Most recently, their support of ORMC has been recognized through the naming of the David & Linda Hughes Grand Lobby in the new ORMC Tower.

“It’s our service to the community,” David says. “ORMC and Orlando Health are the safety net for many residents and visitors in Central Florida. We need to support our community hospital.”

Community builders at heart, David and Linda do more than give financially. David has served on several boards in Central Florida, including chairing the Orlando Health board twice. Linda first became involved with Orlando Health in the 1970s through the Junior League of Greater Orlando. She has since been heavily involved in their children’s schools and at their church.

Additionally, David has chaired three of the Orlando Health Foundation’s philanthropic campaigns, which includes our current goal to raise $210,000,000.

But both David and Linda will tell you it is not about them as they turn the focus back to those who are served by Orlando Health. They are happy knowing that their support and their volunteer efforts on behalf of the hospital help families through difficult journeys.

“It’s important to support our only community-owned hospital,” Linda says. “We want to make sure people are able to stay near home when they need high quality health care services of all kinds. ”

Humble and reserved, David’s passion for Orlando Health shines through when asked about why he serves in so many ways.

“We want to make life better for future generations,” David shares. “Miracles are performed here every day and everyone who supports Orlando Health is a part of improving the lives of families in this community.”

April 08, 2015