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Methodist Health System Foundation Announces Largest Single Gift

Pat and Pete Schenkel Charitable Fund Will Benefit Trauma and Cardiology


DALLAS, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Pat and Pete Schenkel have presented Methodist Health System with $4 million, the largest gift in the institution's 80-year history. The Schenkels' gift today represents a financial milestone in Methodist's efforts to grow its permanent endowment fund. With the Schenkels' $4 million gift, the fund now tops the $50 million mark.

The newly established Pat and Pete Schenkel Charitable Fund is designated to equally support Methodist Health System trauma and cardiology services including capital needs, programs, and educational support and training. In recognition of the Schenkels' commitment to quality health care, Methodist unveiled the Pat and Pete Schenkel Tower in ceremonies today at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

"Methodist Health System is honored to be associated with the names of such strong and humble servants," said Methodist Health System Foundation President and CEO April Box. "We are deeply grateful for their generosity and longstanding commitment to Methodist and this community."

The Schenkels' involvement with Methodist Health System spans decades. Robert S. Folsom and William Weatherford initially approached Mr. Schenkel in the 1980s to help them increase Methodist's visibility to the Dallas business community. Now, 20 years later, the Schenkels' generous support has helped Methodist Health System expand clinical services and improve the lives of thousands of people in need. Pete Schenkel has served on the Methodist Health System corporate board for over 15 years, and currently serves as chairman of the Methodist Health System Foundation board.

Quality-of-life issues in Dallas' southern sector have always been important to the Schenkels. "It is gratifying to see Methodist's prominent role in the revitalization of Oak Cliff and southern Dallas County," said Mr. Schenkel. "Pat and I are blessed to be a part of supporting the health of our entire community."

As one of only three hospitals in Dallas to provide trauma care, the Level II Emergency Department at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oak Cliff treats over 58,000 patients a year. Although trauma care is not a profitable endeavor -- much of Methodist's annual charity care expenditure of more than $59 million is devoted to trauma and emergency room patients who are often young and uninsured -- the Schenkels recognize its importance to the region as a whole.

The gift represents a marriage between Mr. Schenkel's passion for quality health care and his support of the men and women of law enforcement.

"All too frequently, we hear of Dallas police officers and other public servants being injured in the line of duty," said Mr. Schenkel. "Many of those injured receive emergency treatment at Methodist Dallas." Among Mr. Schenkel's civic leadership roles is membership on the board of the Dallas Blue Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing financial support to the families of Dallas police officers killed and wounded in the line of duty.

Cardiology programs at Methodist Health System will also benefit greatly from the newly created fund.

"The cardiology program is very important to us," said Pat Schenkel. Both of Mrs. Schenkel's parents died at early ages as a result of cardiovascular disease. "This gift will help bring needed research, education, equipment, and training to strengthen Methodist's cardiology programs. Ultimately, Pete and I are hopeful it will enhance patient care."

Cardiology programs at Methodist Health System include some of the latest noninvasive and invasive diagnostic, interventional, surgical, and rehabilitative services. The Methodist Health System service area in southern Dallas suffers the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in Dallas County. Each year, over 26,000 patients rely on the Methodist Health System for comprehensive cardiac care and rehabilitation.

"Pat and Pete have chosen to make a difference," said April Box. "Their gift will improve and save lives."

Both Pat and Pete Schenkel are native Texans. Mrs. Schenkel is from Tomball near Houston, while Mr. Schenkel was born and raised in South Dallas. The couple supports a wide variety of charitable organizations. Mr. Schenkel was an executive with Schepps Dairy for many years and currently serves on the board of its parent company, Dean Foods. He has served as chairman of the board of the State Fair of Texas and continues to serve on its board. He also served as chairman of the board of DFW International Airport. Mrs. Schenkel has served in many organizations including United Way, Genesis Women's Shelter, New Friends New Life, and the Medina Children's Home. Mr. and Mrs. Schenkel have been married 47 years and have three children.

About Methodist Health System

Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) uses some of the latest medical technology and research to bring quality health care to individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and three Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at

Methodist Health System is a nonprofit organization. If you are interested in supporting trauma or cardiology services at Methodist, or other vital health care and community programs, please contact Methodist Health System Foundation at 214-947-4555 or visit us online at

SOURCE Methodist Health System
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