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Pardee Hospital Foundation names Healthcare Philanthropist of the Year

Pardee Hospital Foundation named Kenneth Youngblood as its 2011 Healthcare Philanthropist of the Year at the annual donor recognition event held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher on June 23. Pardee Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors presents this award each year to a member of the community that has made an outstanding contribution to Pardee Hospital, the Pardee Hospital Foundation and for the improvement of the community’s healthcare.  The recipient acts as an advocate for philanthropy and perpetuates giving within the community.  Past winners of this award include Marcia Caserio, L. Howard Carl, Jr., Bob and Doris Eklund, Colin Thomas, M.D., Grace Vineyard, Phillip Sellers, M.D., and Dorothy (Dot) Marlow.  The award was presented to Youngblood by Dot Marlow. In selecting this year’s award recipient, previous winners of the award recognized Youngblood’s community work and unprincipled support of healthcare.  Youngblood has served the community as a driving force at Bruce Drysdale Elementary School where he raised community knowledge of the nurse to child ratio and drew attention to ways in which health programs in schools could improve academic performance.  His efforts led to the school health clinic that is still located at Bruce Drysdale Elementary School. Youngblood was also the recipient of the Community Foundation of Henderson County’s Sauer Award, and is a founding board member of Carolina Village in which he has continued to support for the past 35 years.  He was also involved in Pardee and Western Carolina University’s “Integrative Initiative for Aging”. The Prince, Youngblood, and Massagee Law Firm was recognized as the “Best Geriatric Practice of Law” in 2004 for it’s commitment in educating adults on the importance of later life planning.  Youngblood also served as Counselor to the North Carolina State Bar for the 29th Judicial District from 1972-1983 and is a Life Fellow in the American Bar Foundation.  His pro-bono legal work has also helped many organizations, including Henderson County Schools, Carolina Village and the Community Foundation.  “I think he is that ‘wise one’ who serves as the conscience of the community, drawing attention to the inequities in the lack of access in healthcare.  He has always used his respected stature to reach those of influence locally and beyond in an effort to enhance the health and well-being of young and old alike in Henderson County,” said Marcia Caserio. Pardee Hospital Foundation’s annual donor recognition event is held as a way of thanking the donors who support Pardee.  Since its inception in 1996, Pardee Foundation raised over $26 million in charitable gifts to assist Pardee services.  The event was supported through sponsorships from Pardee Hospital Foundation and lead sponsors First Citizens Bank and Frankie Bones Restaurant.  Additional contributions were made by Edward Jones, Carolina Village, the Fazio family, Chris, Judy and Desiree Ricker, TD Bank, Lake Point Landing, the Law Office of Lenbensburger & Gilreath, PLLC, Mountain Home Care and Geriatric Care Management, Economy Drugs, Times-News, Shelley’s Jewelry, and An English Flower Cottage.

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