Senior Foundation Staffer’s Dedication Enhances Community’s Health Services

Kyle McDermott

Kyle McDermott, Johnston Health Foundation’s vice president of support services, has made a difference here for nearly four decades.

Whether it’s identifying patient needs, posting signs at the Portofino Derby Classic or lugging water to hydration stations at the Champions 5K/10K, Kyle McDermott, vice president of support services, is glad to assist with any work detail of the Johnston Health Foundation.

“I like to help where I can,” says McDermott, who joined the hospital 38 years ago. Before coming aboard, he worked with a commercial cleaning company, but with his business degree in health care management, he set his sights early on to work at a hospital.

Within a few years, McDermott was asked to set up a human resources department. Not long afterward, he accepted oversight of the dietary and engineering departments. These experiences prepared him to serve ably as vice president of support services.

In 1992, he was tasked with setting up a foundation. At the time, hospital administrator Leland Farnell envisioned a foundation that could serve as a type of goodwill ambassador, with the goal of raising awareness about the hospital.

Within a year or so, the foundation took on its first fundraiser, a golf tournament in memory of much-beloved surgeon and avid golfer Dr. Hubert M. Poteat. At that time, the hospital needed exercise equipment for its cardiac rehabilitation center. the foundation raised $58,000.

“The foundation really embraced the project,” McDermott says. “We worked together to come up with a plan and the design.”

A few years later, the foundation received donations to support the extensive renovation of the old Burlington Industries plant, so it could be transformed into what is now known as Johnston Medical Mall.

“Although the original intent of the foundation was to build friendships, we quickly saw its value in fundraising to support the hospital’s needs,” McDermott says. “But who knew the gaps between needs and hospital revenue would quadruple in 30 years?”

The hospital’s chief financial officer, Eddie Klein, explains the foundation’s value this way: “A $100,000 contribution is equivalent to revenue generated from 500 patients or $21 million in hospital charges.”

Of all the foundation events, McDermott says he most enjoys the Annual Golf Classic. “It’s a reunion of past board members, retired coworkers and community friends,” he explains. “And it’s also a fun way to visit with the hospital’s many business partners.”

“Being part of the foundation is satisfying because it’s so important to the hospital and community,” McDermott says. “I don’t know of any better way to give of your time or talents.”

Interested in making a difference in the health of our community like Kyle McDermott does? Simply contact Amanda Johnson at (919) 938-7348 or amanda.johnson8@unchealth.unc.edu to learn more about the impact you can have on the patients and families we serve.