A Ray of Hope

The COVID-19 Heroes of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

  • Category
    Health, People
  • Written by
    Laura L. Watts

  • Above
    Actors Danny Thomas, Bob Hope and Ann Blythe at a 1952 fundraiser for
    Providence Saint Joseph’s East Wing expansion.

Dolores Hope with the hospital’s religious leaders at the 1952 East Wing groundbreaking.

Young Linda Hope grew up surrounded by showbiz. Her parents, Bob and Dolores Hope, met at a New York City nightclub where Dolores was singing. They supported each other through a long, illustrious marriage, eventually entertaining U.S. troops around the world together. Both Bob and Dolores came from modest means, so in gratitude for their success they made philanthropy part of their life’s work. “My father and mother dedicated their lives to helping others,” Linda shares. “They felt very strongly about giving back.”

In 1953 the couple founded the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation to support organizations that bring “hope” to those in need and those who serve to protect our nation. Bob was no stranger to offering morale-lifting support in the midst of crisis. He entertained servicemen and women for nearly six decades—often at military bases or hospitals in international combat areas. As he quipped, “If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”

Today, in the midst of the current coronavirus crisis, the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation—with Linda as CEO—continues to support the philanthropic ideals of its namesake founders. The foundation recently donated $100,000 to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center to support the hospital’s “COVID Heroes”—an emergency preparedness and response fund that addresses critical needs resulting from COVID-19. The directors of the foundation hope their gift will inspire others in the community to support this fund and the medical center’s response to the pandemic.

“This generous gift will allow us to continue to save the lives of all who walk through our doors, especially the poor and vulnerable, while protecting our front-line heroes at Saint Joe’s,” says Kelly Linden, chief executive of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Founded in 1943, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank serves the San Fernando Valley with its team of 2,500 employees, 300 volunteers and 700+ physicians who share a commitment to provide quality care for all. The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation has a long history of supporting the hospital. “It would have been a great source of joy for my parents to know they were able to help Providence Saint Joseph in their own backyard,” says Linda.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, the “Heroes Among Us” at Providence Saint Joseph will continue to step up and make a difference in the health care profession—during this crisis and beyond.