Members of the Brandt family – founders of BRANDT, Inc. in Springfield – pledged Wednesday to reach a $1 million milestone in donations to the Springfield Memorial Foundation.
The commitment will establish an endowment through the Springfield Memorial Foundation to provide health care career education grants to support the future development of the local health care workforce.
“This commitment today by the Brandt family has the potential to touch thousands of lives across central Illinois,” said Ed Curtis, president and CEO, Memorial Health.
Wednesday’s announcement was delivered by Rick Brandt, president and CEO of BRANDT, Inc., and Evelyn Brandt Thomas, who co-founded BRANDT, Inc. with her late brother, Glen Brandt.
Glen Brandt died in June 2020. He was 94.
“Memorial Health has always provided the people of Springfield, including my brother, Glen, with remarkable care,” said Brandt Thomas. “Our gift is intended to give back to the people who have given so much to us and to the community we love.”
Health care career education grants provided through The BRANDT Endowment Fund will help create a pipeline of professional clinical staff, ensuring Springfield Memorial Hospital has staff needed to continue providing necessary patient care.
“I believe the single biggest challenge facing our health care system is a lack of qualified providers coming into the system,” said Rick Brandt. “The BRANDT Endowment will help alleviate that shortage here in Springfield. I’m proud we’re able to make this gift to Memorial Health.”
The Brandt family and BRANDT, Inc. have long supported the mission of Springfield Memorial Hospital and Memorial Health. In 2018, The BRANDT Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, donated $30,675 to Springfield Memorial Foundation.
“The Brandt family’s support ensures we can assist current and future healthcare workers for generations,” said Melissa Hansen-Schmadeke, executive director, Springfield Memorial Foundation. “Our mission to improve lives and build stronger communities through better health can only be achieved by the continuous development of a skilled workforce. Gifts like this one benefit our local health system for years to come, and contribute to the family’s legacy as active and generous leaders in our community.”
Brandt Thomas, who has supported Memorial Health as a private donor for more than three decades, will celebrate her 99th birthday in August. She has expressed a desire to see her family’s philanthropic intentions come to fruition in her lifetime.
“She has truly made her mark on this community,” said Curtis. “In Springfield and beyond, Evelyn is known for her volunteerism and commitment to make central Illinois a better place through her support of education, the arts, entrepreneurship initiatives and, of course, health care.”