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By South Shore Health
As we continue adapting to a new normal of face masks, social distancing, working and schooling from home, and virtual celebrations, the importance of capable community health systems is being acknowledged like never before. Also being appreciated like never before is the robust community support that elevates and strengthens these vital community resources.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), a term coined by American economist Howard Bowen in the 1950s, is the practice of corporations giving back to society by supporting social, environmental, and economic initiatives that serve the neighborhoods where their businesses operate and where their customers and employees live and work. Though conceptualized in the late 1800s, it wasn’t until late in the 20th century that CSR became widespread in practice.
South Shore Health’s Presidents’ Circle, a leading example of CSR at work, was founded in 1996 by Don Grilli, a retired executive from Johnson & Johnson; Brian Hotarek, a retired executive from The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company; and Scott Shulman of Best Automotive Group. Motivated by South Shore Health’s charitable mission to provide high-quality care for local residents—care that rivaled the large, renowned teaching hospitals in Boston—the trio challenged themselves to find 12 local businesses who would make a $25,000 pledge to the health system. And so, Presidents’ Circle was born and still flourishes today, proactively advocating for and broadening access to health and wellness across the region.
What began with a dozen businesses 24 years ago is now a growing assemblage of 130 local business leaders. Presidents’ Circle has funded major upgrades to medical facilities, advancements to cutting-edge technology, and expansion of local health and wellness programs that directly reflect community needs. Their current commitment to the health system’s capital campaign, Mission Critical: The Campaign for Our Second Century, benefits much needed behavioral health and substance use disorder (SUD) programs within the newly formed and rapidly expanding Grayken Center for Treatment. The Grayken Center for Treatment provides outpatient treatment, support, and an attainable path to long-term recovery for patients and families on the South Shore who are living with SUD and behavioral health challenges.
Over the years, members have participated in lectures, outings, and networking events; hosted employee flu clinics staffed by South Shore Health nurses; and utilized a clinical liaison to inform the community about wellness resources and assist with health system navigation.
In February 2020, all Presidents’ Circle members were honored for their impactful and sustained support of the South Shore Health Foundation. Five businesses achieved the $1 million cumulative giving level, a truly remarkable philanthropic accomplishment that underscores their commitment to further an ever more resilient South Shore.
Click here to see which businesses make up South Shore Health’s Presidents’ Circle.
South Shore Health includes South Shore Hospital, South Shore Medical Center, South Shore Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the South Shore, Health Express, and a full spectrum of other facilities and services.