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Why We Give: John and Marianne Hart

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The Hart Family

Riley Hospital has long provided tutoring and educational liaison services for hospitalized patients, but something brand new is happening in the Riley Hospital for Children School Program.

Teacher Amy Boggess now spends her days making education easier for outpatients: children who’ve been in and out of Riley Hospital. She meets with patients, parents, teachers, school administrators, and even the patient’s classmates, paving the way for successful transitions back into school.

It’s a change that wouldn’t have happened without a generous gift from John and Marianne Hart, who have Riley ties and deep passion for education.

“We were very touched by the program. It seems like an important thing that they’re doing,” says John Hart, who leads J.C. Hart Company, a Carmel, Ind.-based apartment development and management company founded by he and his father in 1976. “It’s tremendous that Riley has the vision and foresight to implement such an important program.”

One of the Harts’ three children, 34-year-old Johnny (John C. Hart III), developed profound hearing loss as a result of spinal meningitis when he was 2 years old. The Harts credit Riley’s speech pathology and audiology team with enabling Johnny to lead a full, successful life.

“Our personal connection has created a high level of admiration for what they do at Riley Hospital and the miracles they work every day,” says Hart. “I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to support what Riley does, because it can totally change families’ lives.”

The Harts were impressed by the way Riley leadership worked to acquire a matching grant so their gift could be put to work quickly. “We just can’t thank the Harts enough for allowing us to do this,” says Kristin Wikel, Supervisor of the Riley Hospital for Children School Program. “It’s making such a difference in patients’ lives, it’s unbelievable.”

For the Harts, it’s hard to imagine a more rewarding way to make an impact. “There couldn’t be anything more important in my mind than to help children get through an illness and provide them assistance for a seamless transition back into their daily lives,” says Hart.

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