For the Kahlerts, giving is truly a family affair. From their reason for giving to GBMC to the generational support the hospital has received, the Kahlerts hold a special place in the GBMC family.
From their first gift in 2000 to name the William E. Kahlert Cystoscopy Suite to the William E. Kahlert Physicians Pavilion North, in honor of their help in surpassing GBMC’s $50 million goal for the 50th anniversary, Greg and Roberta Kahlert celebrate his parents' legacy and continue to impact those who benefit from better health and improved well-being because of their thoughtfulness.
“We have supported several different areas at GBMC over the years and this has developed from the hospital’s priorities and our areas of passion,” Greg Kahlert said. “In each case, the leaders have been special, and we had confidence in the programs.”
In addition to the two named spaces in honor of Greg’s late father, William E. (Bill) Kahlert, the Kahlert family also purchased a daVinci Surgical System for robotic urological surgery, established a research and discovery fund to promote multi-disciplinary medical research and created an endowment to support the addition of a new chaplain. The chapel was subsequently named in honor of Greg’s late mother, the Yvonne Kahlert Chapel, as a result.
Before Bill passed away in 2011, the Kahlerts also established the Urologic Research Fund to support important research efforts under the direction of Dr. Ronald Tutrone, MD, FACS, Chief of the Division of Urology. This was the first endowed chair at GBMC and has inspired a host of others to honor physicians and the great care they provide in this way.
Bill was a grateful patient of Dr. Tutrone's and believed deeply in giving back to recognize leaders that made a difference for his life and that of his family’s. He once said, “Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to recognize outstanding leaders in the medical world who can have such a significant impact on helping people in our region.” It was this strong personal value that he instilled in his children and one Greg knows will not be lost with his own.
“Our relationship with GBMC started with my parents and now that relationship continues with my wife, Roberta, and myself,” Greg said. “In the future, we fully expect our children will also want to support GBMC, resulting in three generations of support.”
Care experiences that included emphysema and cancer treatment as well as a search for spiritual healing that led them to the Chapel gave the Kahlerts many personal reasons for making GBMC a philanthropic priority.
“The Kahlert Foundation supports GBMC for numerous reasons, which include the extremely high level of care, personal attention, cutting-edge clinical research and important programs like spiritual support,” Greg said. “Without our support, and that of others, some of these programs would not be available to patients.”
The Kahlert’s investment and confidence in GBMC’s oncology clinical trials program sparked growth that has allowed more than 340 patients to enroll in clinical trials across an array of cancer types. With about 65 trials offered currently, GBMC enrolls 10% of patients, where the industry standard is 6%.
This commitment to excellence in care combined with great, long-term, lasting relationships is the catalyst for the Kahlert’s generous support. “For us, GBMC is unique compared to other community hospitals for two reasons,” Greg said. “First, is the large number of quality clinical trials. Just in the area of urology and cancer, there are about 120 clinical trials, which are leading
the way to find new and better treatments for GBMC patients. We wholeheartedly support Drs. Tutrone and Celano (Paul Celano, MD, FACP, FASCO, Herman & Walter Samuelson Medical Director for the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute) in their amazing research to offer the most up-to-date and cutting-edge patient care.
“Second, our family members have received treatment above and beyond the standard level of care for routine and challenging health issues. We are so grateful for the extraordinary, compassionate care and life-extending treatments.”
The Kahlerts are gracious with their philanthropy, and GBMC is just one organization honored to be in the mix. And though their reason for giving is very personal, their overall sense of giving back to the community is inspiring.
“Giving back to the community is important to us, and we encourage others to do the same,” Greg said. “Our philanthropy is helping to make positive changes in the lives and well-being of the people in our local community. And, together, we can do even more and make an even greater positive, impact in the area.”