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From One Great Leader to the Next

Mark Siewert steps down as Board Chair as Mike Goonan steps in

SiewertsMonumental moments like the opening of our new Golisano Children’s Hospital bring a lot of transitions, as well as reflections on the great work of years past. The children’s hospital has grown under outstanding leaders and volunteers, one of them being Mark Siewert, Board of Directors Chair since June 2010. Almost five years to the day he became Chair, Siewert stepped down from his position on June 23. Siewert’s impact on the hospital’s development, its ability to provide the best care for children, and its overall future has been tremendous. Mike Goonan, former chief financial officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), which includes Golisano Children’s Hospital, and executive committee member of the Board, is proud to follow in his friend’s footsteps.

“Mark has been an unwavering advocate for Golisano Children’s Hospital in his role as Chair,” said Goonan. “I hope to continue the momentum that Mark has developed throughout the community to provide the highest quality care for children in Upstate New York and beyond.”

Siewert became a member of the children’s hospital Board in June 2002 and since then, has carried a strong belief in the hospital and passion for giving back throughout his tenure as a volunteer. Multiple spaces in the former Golisano Children’s Hospital were made possible because of Siewert’s efforts on the fundraising board. He was heavily involved in raising money for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which opened in 2004, as well as the William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite, which opened in 2006. The hallway leading to the surgical suite is filled with blue skies, butterflies, and soaring kites and was named in honor of Siewert’s son, Mark Daniel.

Following surgery, Mark Daniel spent eight months in the PICU. Throughout that process, Mark and his wife Marcia saw the dedication of their son’s medical team and Mark was compelled to give back. Ultimately, Mark Daniel lost his battle in July 2002, but the couple continues to support the hospital that had tried so hard to save their son.

Siewert’s eight-year commitment as a board member, his kind heart and his dedication to representing the children’s hospital, earned him the title of Board Chair in 2010. He led the group with a unique passion for the families we treat, attended nearly every children’s hospital community event, and truly exemplified the spirit of giving.

“Being Chair gave me the opportunity to meet great people I am able to call my friends,” said Siewert. “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know people at the hospital as well as many of our community donors that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise had relationships with. It has been amazing to witness how dedicated our community is to supporting our region’s children.”  

“Mark’s total commitment to Golisano Children’s Hospital comes in the context of a passion for serving the needs of children and families and the best interests of Rochester and Upstate New York now and into the future,” said Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., pediatrician-in-chief and William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics. “His legacy will fuel us into our next decade and will be the launching point for Mike Goonan’s Board.”

A leader by example, Siewert participated in several of the Board’s subcommittees, recruiting corporate sponsors for the children’s hospital’s annual Golf Classic and Gala events. Perhaps the largest undertaking during his time as Chair, Siewert continues to serve on the campaign cabinet of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital. Along with fellow Board members Elizabeth “Lissa” McAnarney, M.D., chair emerita of pediatrics, and CEO of The Cabot Group Mike Smith, Siewert has made it his mission to drive the philanthropic efforts of the campaign and has done so successfully.

“Mark is a ‘leader for the ages,’” said McAnarney. “His diligence in raising funds for the new children’s hospital has been remarkable. From gently persuading friends in the community to give to the campaign, to attending a number of fundraising events night and day, to helping us as his colleagues keep our eyes on the target – all while leading the board simultaneously. We are eager to continue to work with Mark and Marcia on behalf of children.”

The Siewerts were among the first individual donors to support the new Golisano Children’s Hospital and its pediatric programs. Part of their very generous gift named the Mark Daniel Siewert Pediatric Conference Center on the building’s first floor, allowing Mark Daniel’s name to live on for years to come in the new space.

“One of the things I am most proud of during my tenure is having been able to watch the new building be built from the ground up and being a part of its fundraising,” said Siewert. “It was both a challenging and rewarding experience. Having our son’s name in the hospital is an honor and allows us to feel he will be remembered.”

“I enjoyed my time as Chair,” Siewert continued. “You can’t help but love the job, and I know Mike will too. I wish him all the best moving forward with the next phases of the hospital.”

GoonansAs the Chief Financial Officer of URMC for close to 30 years, Goonan has profound experience as a leader. Under his tenure, the institution experienced enormous growth while maintaining financial stability – not a small feat. He has volunteered on the Golisano Children’s Hospital board for 10 years and has served as Chair of Golf Fundraisers. He and his wife Judy were also honorary chairs at last year’s Gala and have generously named the nurse’s documentation station on the new hospital’s seventh floor.

“There is still a great deal to be done to complete the Golisano Children’s Hospital strategic plan,” said Goonan. “However, with the support of a highly committed and energetic Board, an extremely supportive University and Medical Center, and an entire community with a proven philanthropic track record, I have no doubt that we will meet the challenges that may lie ahead and continue to ensure that children in our community will receive the best care possible.”