For Dick Waterfield, a Life Governor of Riley Children’s Foundation, the decision to invest philanthropic support in Riley isn’t based on a single personal experience. His contributions, including the Richard D. Waterfield Endowment for Clinical Excellence at Riley Hospital for Children, are motivated by a combination of factors: A strong desire to give back to his community; compassion for struggling children and families; hope for cures through pediatric research advancements; pride in his home state of Indiana; and deep trust in Riley leadership.
“When it comes to medicine and health care and sick kids, you want the best,” says Waterfield. “People around the state should realize that Riley Hospital for Children is a unique Indiana resource and it can’t and shouldn’t be duplicated, it ought to be enhanced as much as possible.”
Waterfield and his wife, Marni McKinney, have found it moving to witness the way Riley Hospital makes it a priority to provide not only excellent medical care, but also comfort and joy to children. Waterfield is also struck by how many children from his home community of Fort Wayne come to
Riley Hospital for specialized treatment that isn’t available elsewhere in the state. He sees the value of centralizing Indiana’s pediatric specialty care and research at Riley, because its partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine makes it one of the nation’s leading children’s research hospitals.
“The best revelations and the best discoveries are going to come from the most talented people with the best resources,” he explains. “The better the reputation and resources Riley has, the more funding they can get from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and that can lead to blockbuster discoveries. If I can in a small way help them do that, I feel really great about that.”
Waterfield’s experiences on the Finance Committee of the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors have given him an inside view of the way Riley manages its financial assets and puts donors’ gifts to work. This experience gives him the confidence to allow Riley leaders to decide how to best use the annual distributions generated by his endowed fund to support the hospital’s greatest urgent needs. “It’s the right time in my life,” says Waterfield. “I like that the gift will be there forever. I trust the people leading this period of growth at Riley, and I want to be a part of that.”