Dr. Govind and Mrs. Jyothi Rao
“Work hard, be sincere, and be simple.”
These are the be-ribboned words of wisdom Dr. Govind Rao’s father, a teacher back in India, shared with his son as he left the comfort of his family and home for the Land of Opportunity. All these years later, Dr. Rao has passed along a magnificent manifestation of his father’s gift to the people of the community in which he settled.
Dr. Govind and Mrs. Jyothi Rao of Amsterdam have given $250,000 in support of the new Outpatient Pavilion currently under construction at the St. Mary’s Memorial Campus on Route 30.
Dr. & Mrs. Rao are early supporters for the new building, set to open in autumn, 2015. When complete, the facility will provide easy access to services including: our comprehensive Cancer Medicine program, including radiology; a Women’s Breast Health Center, the comprehensive Outpatient Imaging Center, Population Health Management, Laboratory Services, Urgent Care and Outpatient Registration. The new $18 million Outpatient Pavilion is set to open in autumn, 2015.
Dr. Rao explained that he and his family are supporting the Pavilion because it is part of the infrastructure in our community needed to provide care to all.
“Contributing to the facility offers a legacy that will remain long after many in this generation are gone.”
The path that brought the Rao family to this announcement has been difficult as well as joyous. When Dr. Rao came to the United States in 1964 to join a residency program in pediatrics, he had only his education, $4 in his pocket, and two suitcases.
The family was happy to settle in Amsterdam once Dr. Rao was finished with his residency. The Rao children grew up here, and three of them became doctors who have settled in various locations around the country. He explained that there are 8 pediatricians in the extended Rao family. “It’s in our genes,” he said. “Children are the most precious.”
Sadly, the Rao’s lost their youngest daughter Neena as a young adult. He explained “with her hard-earned money and contributions by family members, we formed the Neena Rao Charitable Corporation to help people in need.” Neena’s love for children is the impetus for the the organization’s focus on healthcare and education, especially for women and children.
The Rao’s legacy of kindness has touched countless lives in the United States and in India, where many of Rao’s family members still reside. In Amsterdam and Montgomery County, the organization has made a substantial impact, supporting organizations including the Amsterdam Free Library; Catholic Charities Food Pantry; Walter Elwood Museum; Amsterdam YMCA; Fulton-Montgomery Community College; Centro Civico; Danielle’s House Homeless Shelter and many more. During the Iraq War, Dr. Rao gave gifts of $1,000 to 34 families in Montgomery County who had a loved one serving in the war. Many of the soldiers were grown-up former patients of the pediatrician.
Albert Turo, Vice President of Planning and Development for St. Mary’s Healthcare, said, “The overwhelming generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Rao and their family is a blessing. When the Outpatient Pavilion opens in the fall, care with compassion and excellence will be given to each person who enters. We thank Dr. and Mrs. Rao and their family members for choosing to be such a significant part of that.”
THE ST. MARY'S HEALTHCARE AUXILIARY
The St. Mary’s Healthcare Auxiliary announced its pledge of $250,000 toward the construction of the new Outpatient Pavilion. The Auxiliary is a leader in offering early support for the new building currently under construction on the Memorial campus on Route 30.
When the project is finished, the facility will provide easy access to services including: comprehensive Cancer Medicine including radiation therapy; a Women’s Breast Health Center, comprehensive Outpatient Imaging Center, Laboratory Services, Urgent Care and Outpatient Registration. The new Outpatient Pavilion is set to open in autumn, 2015.
“St. Mary’s is truly blessed to have many in our community who believe in our ability to maintain quality health care, and who are willing and able to support our ongoing efforts to improve the well-being of our community,” said Victor Giulianelli, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare. “Our Auxiliary has always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our vision. Their pledge helps us set the pace for others to join in helping us move forward for the good of those we currently serve and for those who will need accessible health care in the future.”
The St. Mary’s Auxiliary is made up of more than 230 active and sustaining members that consistently work to raise funds and friends through signature events, lobby sales and the management of the St. Mary’s Gift Shop.
“We are eternally grateful to our friends in the Auxiliary,” said Al Turo, Vice President for Planning and Development. “They are helping us address a variety of contemporary care issues and improve care coordination for our most seriously ill patients. The construction of this Outpatient Pavilion will ultimately lead to better health results for our patients and their families.”
St. Mary’s Healthcare is proud to welcome Stewart’s Shops as a Founding Donor for our fundraising effort in support of our new Outpatient Pavilion. Stewart’s Shop's outstanding and generous commitment will help make possible this facility, which will bring more accessible, state of the art healthcare to our community. The Pavilion is set for completion in fall 2015 at the Memorial Campus on State Route 30.
Susan Dake, President of Stewart’s Foundation (center, in red) is welcomed to the St. Mary’s family by (L-R) Vic Giulianelli, President & CEO, Andy Heck, Capital Campaign Chairman and St. Mary’s Trustee; Dr. Mohammad R. Ghazi, Past Chairman of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees; and Dr. Ronald Marsh, Chairman of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees.
"Stewart's Shops have served Montgomery and Fulton Counties since 1974,” said Susan Dake, President of Stewart’s Foundation, who attended the groundbreaking. “We are happy to be able to help provide better healthcare in the new Outpatient Pavilion with a $250,000 donation."
Stewart’s Shops have been a familiar part of the landscape in our area for many years. In 1945, brothers Charles V. Dake and Percy W. Dake purchased a dairy and ice cream business from Don Stewart. At the front of the dairy plant was a small store that became the first Stewart’s Ice Cream Shop. Stewart’s revolutionary “Make Your Own Sundae” was born a few years later at the behest of Phyllis Dake. In fact, through the years, generations of Dake family members have played active roles in this historic company and the Stewart Foundation, including William and Susan, their son Gary, and his son and daughter-in-law, Zak and Desiree.
Today, there are over 330 Stewart’s Shops throughout New York and Vermont that offer quality dairy products and ice cream produced at the plant in Greenfield Center, NY. Stewart’s also carries convenience groceries, food-to-go items, ATMs, and gasoline (in most shops). Much of the company’s success is due to vertical integration, as ¾ of what is sold in the shops is manufactured and/or warehoused at the plant/distribution center. Additionally, the employees own 1/3 of the company, leading to a sense of ownership that contributes to growth and profitability. Stewart’s Shops strongly believes in giving back to the community and contributes $2.5 million annually to charity, with family foundations contributing double that amount.
To learn more about Stewart’s commitment to St. Mary’s Healthcare and the community, look for the digital screen in your local Stewart’s Shop, or click to see this message from Susan Dake: http://www.stewartsshops.com/news/stewarts-shops-and-the-dake-family-give-to-st-marys/
October 21, 2014 – Amsterdam, NY – St. Mary’s Healthcare, Amsterdam blessed the site for its newest health care facility at a formal groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. The project is the latest addition to the facility’s comprehensive service network, with the focus of the new site on making health care services more accessible. A new 40,000 square foot building, currently identified as the St. Mary’s Outpatient Pavilion, is under construction next to the Memorial Campus on Route 30.
A warm welcome from Vic Giulianelli, President and CEO of St. Mary’s, was followed by an invocation given by Sr. Joan Mary Hartigan, CSJ, Vice President for Mission Integration at St. Mary’s. In his comments, Mr. Giulianelli spoke about the community need for services to which St. Mary’s was compelled to respond. He also thanked all those who have helped to bring this project to fruition. “Any historic project of this magnitude requires extraordinary vision, commitment and significant philanthropic partnership with your community. Today would not be possible without the early and unprecedented generosity of several key individuals. On behalf of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees and St. Mary’s Foundation Board of Directors, I want to especially recognize and thank St. Mary’s Auxiliary, Millennium Medical Imaging and Dr. Noy Militar, Dr. Govind Rao, and Stewart’s Shops and Susan Dake for their extraordinary financial commitments, their firm belief in the value of this project, and their leadership in shaping the future of healthcare in the Mohawk Valley”, stated Giulianelli.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger offered remarks prior to initiating the formal blessing. In a prayer that started, “As we bless this ground, we stand at a sacred intersection where medicine and technology meet grace and humanity”, participating readers included a diverse representation of those who help lead St. Mary’s now and who will encourage us to continue to live our mission far into the future.