John Hillenmeyer joined Orlando Health in the early 1980s to develop Sand Lake Hospital, now known as Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.
John and his wife Gale moved to Florida from Birmingham. John was working for another Orlando hospital system and was recruited to Orlando Health when the decision was made to expand Orlando Health’s footprint and build a hospital in Southwest Orange County to accommodate significant growth. After serving in several senior management positions, John became CEO of Orlando Health in 1995 and stayed in this position until his retirement in 2010.
Below, John and Gale share about themselves, what Orlando Health means to them and why they give back to the organization.
1. How did you meet?
John: We met at the University of Kentucky as undergraduates and were married in 1970. After college, I originally intended to go to law school but an uncle of mine asked if I had any interest in healthcare administration. Once I learned a little more about what it was, I decided to apply to Duke for graduate school. At my first job in Greenville, South Carolina I learned a lot about how to innovate and manage rapid changes. Those skills helped a lot in my career at Orlando Health.
2. How did you get involved with Orlando Health?
John: I was recruited from another hospital to develop Sand Lake Hospital. I was given autonomy and corporate support to refine the market strategy, build a management team, determine needed clinical services, recruit medical staff and participate in the design and construction of the hospital. Building a service-based culture was a key goal. I became President of ORMC (Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center) in 1987.
Gale: The people John worked with became our friends and family. I joined Women Playing For T.I.M.E., which supports Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. I am very proud of Orlando Health. Both of my parents were treated at the Cancer Center and I recently spent time with a good friend who was a patient at ORMC and was overwhelmed by warmth, kindness and caring.
3. What are your fondest memories of Orlando Health?
John: My fondest memories all have to do with the people. If you don’t have the right people, it diminishes any other services and amenities you may offer. The skill and care I saw was amazing. Everyone shared a common vision and mission to take the best care of the people who trust us with their health. How you feel in the hospital impacts how you recover.
4. What does Orlando Health mean to you?
John and Gale: Family!
5. What do you like to do in your spare time?
John: I am on several non-profit volunteer boards around Central Florida, including Westminster Services, where my knowledge of healthcare is appreciated. I have also been involved in issues around homelessness, which is a problem in our community. For fun, we enjoy playing golf.
Gale: We are also both involved in an organization that helps disadvantaged people in Central Florida complete the steps necessary to attain personal identification like birth certificates, Florida ID cards and Social Security cards. Now that John is retired, we have more time to travel to San Diego and Austin to see our sons and their families. We have three grandkids that we like to visit and have them come stay with us in the summer.
6. Why do you choose to give to Orlando Health?
John and Gale: People frequently ask us why they should give to Orlando Health. We answer them by saying that we know first-hand what philanthropy has done and continues to do for the hospitals. Orlando Health is able to offer so many amazing services and new technology because of money raised by the Foundation. To us, it is an easy decision to give knowing the needs and seeing the way patients are treated. Recent events allowed the world to witness the commitment of Orlando Health to our community. Orlando Health gives so much to the community and we want to give back. We chose to give with a planned gift.
To provide future support for Orlando Health patients and their families, you too can give back! One of the easiest ways to include Orlando Health in your estate plans is through a beneficiary designation.
To do so, simply follow these steps:
- Contact your broker or banking institution and request a change of beneficiary form or beneficiary designation form (Note: This may be a paper document, or it may also be online)
- Enter Orlando Health Foundation as the beneficiary (tax ID 59-2244943)
- Designate the percentage you would like to assign to the Foundation and submit your request
We are happy to provide you with more information on how these types of gifts can make a lasting difference. Contact Tiffany Collier, Director of Planned Giving and Major Gifts, 321.841.7010 or [email protected].