St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a nonprofit medical corporation chartered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under IRS regulations.

In 1996, Peter C. Doherty, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, was corecipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work related to how the immune system kills virus-infected cells.


St. Jude was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas, with help from Dr. Lemuel Diggs, on the premise that "no child should die in the dawn of life." Thomas named the hospital for Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Catholic patron saint of hospitals, desperate cases and lost causes. Thomas was a struggling young entertainer when he knelt in a Detroit church before a statue of St. Jude Thaddeus and asked the saint to "show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine." Thomas believed his prayer was answered, and he soon moved his family to Chicago to pursue career offers. In 1957, Thomas founded the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), which helped him realize his dream. ALSAC is also the fundraising organization of St. Jude. Since St. Jude opened its doors in 1962, ALSAC has had the responsibility of raising the necessary funds to keep the hospital open. Memphis was chosen at the suggestion of Samuel Stritch, a Tennessee native who had been a spiritual advisor to Thomas since he presided at Thomas's confirmation in Thomas's boyhood home of Toledo, Ohio.

In late 2007, the Chili's Care Center opened on the St. Jude campus. Chili's restaurant chain has pledged to provide $50 million to fund the construction of the center. The seven-story Chili's Care Center will house 340,000 square feet (32,000 m2) and will add 24 labs and 16 beds to the campus. It will house the department of radiological services, The Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, two floors of outpatient clinics, one floor of inpatient clinics and rooms, two floors of laboratory space, an office floor and an unfinished level for future expansion.

In 2010 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was named the number one children's cancer hospital in U.S by U.S. News & World Report.

The Hospital

Discoveries at St. Jude have completely changed how doctors treat children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. Since St. Jude was established, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, has increased from 4 percent in 1962 to 94 percent today. St. Jude has treated children from across the United States and from more than 70 countries. Doctors across the world consult with St. Jude on their toughest cases. Also, St. Jude has an International Outreach Program to improve the survival rates of children with catastrophic illnesses worldwide through the transfer of knowledge, technology and organizational skills.

  • William E. Evans, Pharm.D. (2004–Present)
  • Arthur W. Nienhuis, M.D. (1993–2004)
  • Joseph Simone, M.D. (1983–1992)
  • Alvin Mauer, M.D. (1973–1983)
  • Donald Pinkel, M.D. (1962–1973)
Affiliated hospitals

St. Jude is associated with several affiliated hospitals around the nation to further its efforts beyond its own physical walls. The hospital uses its Domestic Affiliates Program to form this partnership with the other pediatric programs. This program is a network of hematology clinics, hospitals, and universities that are united under the mission of St. Jude.

These sites are used as a means of referring eligible patients to St. Jude as well as a location to administer some care. Through the Domestic Affiliates Program staff at St. Jude work together and collaborate with those at the other institutions. Affiliated sites are expected to comply with standards set by St. Jude and are audited to ensure proper and quality care.

Currently the Domestic Affiliate Clinic sites include:

St. Jude also works closely with Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, also located in downtown Memphis. St. Jude patients needing certain procedures, such as brain surgery, may undergo procedures at LeBonheur Hospital. Both St. Jude and LeBonheur are teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. University of Tennessee physicians training in pediatrics, surgery, radiology, and other specialties undergo service rotations at St. Jude Hospital.

The Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon was established in Beirut on April 12, 2002. The center is an affiliate of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and works in association with the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).


All medically eligible patients who are accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family's ability to pay. St. Jude is one of a few pediatric research organizations in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. In addition to providing medical services to eligible patients, St. Jude also assists families with transportation, lodging, and meals. Three separate specially-designed patient housing facilities—Grizzly House for short-term (up to one week), Ronald McDonald House for medium-term (one week to 3 months), and Target House for long-term (3 months or more)—provide housing for patients and up to three family members, with no cost to the patient. These policies, along with research expenses and other costs, cause the hospital to incur more than $2.4 million in operating costs each day. Around $180,000 is covered by patient insurance; the remaining $2.22 million/day is funded by charitable contributions.

Philanthropic aid

From 2000 to 2005, 83.7% of every dollar received by St. Jude went to the current or future needs of St. Jude. In 2002 to 2004, 47% of program expenses went to patient care and 41% to research.

To cover operating costs, ALSAC conducts many fund-raising events and activities. The FedEx St. Jude Classic, a PGA Tour event, is one of the most visible fund-raising events for the hospital. Other fund-raising programs include the St. Jude Math-A-Thon, Up 'til Dawn, direct mailings, radiothons and television marketing.

St. Jude also has a merchandise catalog called the Hope Catalog. The catalog contains everything from shirts to office items, and from patient art to "Give Thanks" wristbands.

One of the hospital's most recent and successful fund-raising efforts has been the Dream Home Giveaway. The giveaway allows contest entrants to reserve tickets for $100 each to qualify to win homes valued up to $720,000. The Dream Home Giveaway, one of the largest national fund-raising programs, is conducted in cities across the United States.

In November 2004, St. Jude launched its inaugural Thanks and Giving campaign which encourages consumers to help raise funds at participating retailers by adding a donation at checkout or by purchasing specialty items to benefit St. Jude. The campaign is supported by network television spots, advertisements in major publications, interactive marketing on Yahoo! and a movie trailer that runs on 20,000 screens nationwide. Corporations such as Target, Domino's Pizza, the Williams-Sonoma family of brands, CVS/pharmacy, Kmart, Kay Jewelers, New York & Company 7-Eleven, Inc., American Airlines, American Kiosk Management, AutoZone, Brooks Brothers, Busch Gardens, Casual Male XL, Catherines, Diane von Furstenberg, Dollar General, Easy Spirit, General Nutrition Centers, Gymboree, HSN, J. P. Morgan Chase, Marshall's, The Melting Pot, Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Nine West, Rochester, Sag Harbor, Saks Fifth Avenue, SeaWorld, St. Louis Rams (NFL), West Elm, Westfield Shoppingtowns, and Yahoo! give customers a host of opportunities to support St. Jude.

At various college campuses, some student organizations, fraternities and sororities raise funds in a program called Up 'til Dawn

St. Jude is an International Philanthropic Project of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International, a co-ed service sorority. As of October 2009, ESA has raised more than $135 million for St. Jude.

In 1999, Delta Delta Delta (Tri-Delta) sorority formed a philanthropic partnership with St. Jude. Tri-Delta supports St. Jude nationally and supports cancer charities at a local level. At the hospital in Memphis, Tri-Delta donated the Teen Room for teenage patients to relax and spend time with each other. In July 2010, Tri Delta completed its "10 by 10" goal, raising over $10 million in less than four years. Tri Delta announced the completion of the 10 by 10 goal, raising over $10 million in less than 4 years to name the Tri Delta Patient Care Floor in the Chili’s Care Center. Tri Delta also announced the new goal of raising $15 million in 5 years to name the Specialty Clinic located in the Patient Care Center.

In July 2005, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (ΚΑΨ) announced St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its national philanthropic partner. Since that time, members across the country have joined in the fight against pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease, and other catastrophic illnesses. Kappa Alpha Psi has answered the call to service by raising more than $400,000—representing the largest contribution that Kappa Alpha Psi has donated to any charity. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi have committed to raise $500,000 in support of the hospital’s sickle cell program. St. Jude has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell research and treatment programs in the world. St. Jude is the first known hospital in the world to cure sickle cell disease through bone marrow transplantation. Today, bone marrow transplantation still offers the only cure for sickle cell disease. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi reach out to churches in their local communities to host a Sunday of Hope each January in support of St. Jude. January was selected because this is the month of Kappa’s founding. During the Sunday of Hope, churches will take up a special offering in honor of the patients and families of St. Jude. At the 2008 ALSAC/St. Jude Board and Awards Dinner, Kappa Alpha Psi received the Volunteer Group of the Year Award for their efforts in the inaugural year of the Sunday of Hope program which secured more than 130 churches to participate and raised more than $280,000.

McDonald's Monopoly

In 1995, St. Jude received an anonymous letter postmarked in Dallas, Texas, containing a $1 million winning game piece from the McDonald's Monopoly game. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald's waived the rule and has made the annual $50,000 annuity payments.

Building Activity

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