Donor Stories

Denise Bober

“I became a foundation trustee because I believed in the foundation’s mission. After my grand-babies were born and spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit, and as part of my commitment to the work of the foundation, I made the decision to establish the Sutton Kailey Nursing Advancement Fund.  The fund honors my precious miracle, Sutton, and memorializes her angel sister, Kailey. The nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit were so encouraging and supportive. Not only did they have exceptional skills and talent, they bonded with our family and we have become friends for life.”

The Sutton Kailey Nursing Advancement Fund supports Palm Beach County’s nursing community through grants and programs that focus on skills and professional development to ensure quality nursing in Palm Beach County. Because of the gratitude Denise and her family have for the nurses who helped little Sutton grow and thrive, her fund will ensure that other families will have the same nurturing, quality care when they need it the most.

When Denise established the fund, in the spring of 2015, she invited friends and family to add to it as a tribute to both Kailey and Sutton. Honoring Denise’s granddaughters through philanthropy is a family tradition that will live on for years to come. 


The Breakers Palm Beach

Paul N. Leone, President and CEO, The Breakers Palm Beach

“Our highest priority is employee fulfillment and wellness is key to that; a fulfilled and healthy workforce is the driver of customer satisfaction and our financial success. 

By enhancing the health and wellbeing of our organization, we are able to directly support those in need in our community, and to contribute to those organizations that provide valuable resources to them.  We feel tremendous pride in leveraging our best efforts to serve our team, our customers, the public good and the environment.”

Mark Cook

"Serving on the board of Palm Healthcare Foundation for more than nine years, most recently as Chair, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career," says Mark Cook. "I take great pride in the foundation’s tremendous capacity for connecting people who have a passion for improving the health and wellbeing of Palm Beach County residents."

"I believe that healthy connections begin with a stable governing board of directors who are respected in the community and have a reputation of working together to achieve positive results.  Our trustees are important 'connectors' to people, resources and dollars that can improve the overall health and wellbeing of our community. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side individuals who share the same passion for better health outcomes."

"The foundation’s success is also largely attributable to the philanthropic connections we have made along the way. The ability to do more to solve critical healthcare issues through community-wide collaboration and philanthropy, is directly related to the number of connections we make in support of our work."

Doug Bartel, Florida Blue

“Healthcare is changing like never before.  Solving our healthcare challenges requires a new spirit of dedication, innovation and collaboration.  At Florida Blue, our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Our work with Palm Healthcare Foundation is helping us do just that; together we are changing and saving lives in Palm Beach County through our innovative diabetes education and prevention partnership.”—Doug Bartel, Florida Blue

In Palm Beach County, slightly more than one in ten adults has been diagnosed with diabetes.  It is estimated that an additional 35% of adults aged 20 and older have pre-diabetes. That’s why Florida Blue’s commitment to community health is so important. Last year, Florida Blue joined Palm Healthcare in tackling the crisis through its support of diabetes education and prevention activities.

Florida Blue’s philanthropy provided much-needed educational materials and supplies for local health and wellness screening events including the annual Palm Beach County Diabetes Week screenings held in November each year. Coming together to build a healthier Palm Beach County through corporate philanthropy is a good business decision for all. 


Chris Gryskiewicz

Chris Gryskiewicz, former Palm Healthcare Foundation trustee, is a man of deep religious faith who is driven by core values of servant leadership. He has built a solid reputation in the community based on the qualities of honesty, humility and a genuine desire to help others attain their professional and personal goals.

A devoted husband and father of five children, he believes in leading by example. Chris has a dream to improve the health and well-being of every resident in Palm Beach County. That’s why he and his family have established a Greater Together Giving Fund at Palm Healthcare Foundation and named it The Gryskiewicz Family Neighborhood Fund. It will support programs and activities in selected neighborhoods to improve health.

Chris knows that when we work hand-in-hand with community leaders and residents toward a common goal and provide financial support and resources, we can help the community make positive, healthy changes. He hopes his children will take great pride in learning about how their fund is making a difference in the health and wellbeing of others in our community.


Mrs. Paula Harris, The B.J. and Paula Harris Fund 

B.J. Harris whole-heartedly believed in giving back to the community where he lived. His deep commitment to community coupled with a keen interest in health improvement, compelled him to establish The B.J. and Paula Harris Fund at the now Palm Healthcare Foundation.

A loving father, B.J. was adored by his wife, Paula, and their children.  After his passing, they were determined to continue the legacy their father had begun. They turned to foundation staff, with its extensive knowledge of local health initiatives and programs, to help guide their annual gifts in support of their philanthropic goals.

This donor advised fund meets once a year with the foundation and recommends grants to be funded. An example of previous grant from the B.J. and Paula Harris Fund make a donation to Just Checking at Morse Life Center, a program that provides and monitors a network of helpers who provide shopping, cooking and bill paying assistance to senior citizens and their family caregivers.  B.J.’s children have often commented that, “Daddy would certainly have been proud of so many people coming together to help those in need.”


Mosse Hvide

Palm Healthcare Pavilion proudly bears Mrs. Hvide's name on its tower and lobby in recognition of her generous gift to benefit children and families in Palm Beach County. As a mother whose son developed polio at the age of five, Mrs. Hvide understands how important the Pavilion is to providing outpatient care for special needs children and training and support services for their families. Giving parents the tools to help care for their children at home by providing innovative training and support services is very important to Mrs. Hvide.

Barbara Jacobowitz, MS

“The doctors said my son needed to be on insulin right away and I was scared to death. I did not know how to take care of him.  From that day forward, I pledged that I would do everything I could to educate people about the risks of diabetes and to help to provide resources to manage the disease.”—Barbara Jacobowitz, MS in Public Health, Health Services Administrator, Keiser University and Secretary, Palm Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees

Supporting efforts such as Diabetes Prevention and Management and Healthier Jupiter has been a passion of long-time Palm Beach County resident Barbara Jacobowitz, Health Services Administrator, for Keiser University and a trustee of Palm Healthcare Foundation. Barbara has dedicated her professional life to public health issues, but was unprepared for how her life would change when her seven year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since that time, Barbara strives to bring awareness of diabetes and its complications to local residents.  She supports programs that help patients and families take charge of the disease.

Barbara went a step further when she established The Jacobowitz Healthier Together Diabetes Fund to help support efforts like Healthier Jupiter’s.  For Barbara and her family, their fund is an efficient and strategic way to maximize her annual giving today while providing a way to leave a legacy gift in the future. 

Margie and Jack Levin 


One of the things that matters most to Margie and Jack Levin is family. They are loving people who enjoy spending time with their family.  That includes a large circle of close personal friends.

Sadly, two of their beloved sons, Peter and Gary, preceded them in death. Margie and Jack felt a strong need to memorialize their sons’ lives in a way that would also help others.  So, they established the Peter and Gary Levin Fund at Palm Healthcare Foundation to support those who struggle with healthcare issues and are deeply in need.

Today, the Levins turn to the foundation for recommendations about reputable health programs they can support to honor their sons’ legacies. In 2013, they directed a part of their fund to support the Sari Asher Center for Integrative Cancer Care, a respected non-profit organization that addresses the emotional and physical health needs of cancer patients and their families.

Over the years the relationship between Palm Healthcare Foundation and the Levins has blossomed into a special friendship. In the years to come, the foundation will continue to guide them in decisions about their fund that will help them celebrate the lives of their wonderful children, Peter and Gary, to make an impact in the health of our community.  

Elsie Leviton

Elsie Leviton is a 55-year resident of Palm Beach who has dedicated much of her life to educating children. Her husband, Laurence Leviton, was a beloved pediatrician who began practicing in the 1950s in Palm Beach County. Mrs. Leviton chose to remember her beloved husband by naming a room in the Pavilion's Diabetes Center. The man she calls "Lory" believed in teaching children how to care for themselves and the importance of good health habits at a young age.

Helen K. Persson

"It's what you have in your heart and your being that should draw you to nursing in the first place. Patients - especially the ones who are seriously ill - need nurses who will give their all to help them." Nurse. Navy Lieutenant Commander. Opera singer. Philanthropist. Helen Persson's life is a story of great inspiration and opportunity. Born to Russian immigrant parents in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Persson decided to enter the nursing program at the University of Pennsylvania after the Great Depression. On completion of her studies, she became the head nurse of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War II she served in the Navy where she was a "two-and -a-half-striper" - a Lieutenant Commander in the Nancy Nurse Corps. Mrs. Persson has become one of our community's strongest supporters of nursing. She served as a volunteer for Good Samaritan Medical Center for 32 years and as a member of the hospital's board of directors. Today, the $1 million Helen K. Perrson Nursing Endowment resides at Palm Healthcare Foundation and has supported countless students as they follow their dreams to enter the profession.

Gail Horvath, PNC Bank

Banks stand at the center of our communities, helping to build and strengthen neighborhoods, schools, places of worship and local businesses. PNC strives to be a good corporate citizen through its PNC Foundation, by providing resources to strengthen the communities they serve--improving and enriching the lives of their neighbors.

That’s why PNC’s support of Palm Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Together initiative makes so much sense. In 2013, the foundation launched Healthier Together, a five year, place-based initiative to address complex healthcare issues and the quality of life in six Palm Beach County communities. Believing that communities will be stronger when corporations support residents, PNC has stepped up to become one of the founding Healthier Together Corporate Partners. 

Healthier Together is a community-wide approach to target the root causes of some of the most complex health-related issues affecting Palm Beach County residents today.  Healthier Together brings together a diverse group of local leaders, community organizations, service providers, corporate citizens and residents to share collective knowledge and assets that can be used to leverage targeted health improvements.

 “We know that when we support a strong community infrastructure with programs that help early childhood development and address family health and wellness, we will contribute to the overall wellbeing and quality of health in Palm Beach County. PNC is delighted to be part of this important community-wide initiative that finds creative solutions to make our neighborhoods a better place to live, work and play.”--Gail Horvath, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management, PNC Corporate Banking Services.

Mark Rubenstein, MD 

“It takes people from all walks of life to support a community-led movement like Healthier Delray Beach. When we improve health services for the most vulnerable populations in underserved areas of Palm Beach County, the entire quality of life in Palm Beach County is improved.”—Mark Rubenstein, M.D., physiatrist, Former Palm Healthcare Foundation Trustee                                                                                                                                                                                          

As a practicing physician in Palm Beach County for more than 20 years, Mark Rubenstein, M.D., witnesses firsthand the health challenges that face so many here. He has dedicated his career to helping others overcome some of those challenges.  His commitment to good health extends well beyond his clinical practice.  He is a leader in professional medical organizations, teaches at local universities and serves on multiple state and local boards. Recently he strengthened his commitment to the good health of Palm Beach County by establishing The Rubenstein Healthier Together Behavioral Health Fund at Palm Healthcare Foundation.  He and his family donate to this important initiative because they care deeply about making Palm Beach County one of the healthiest counties in Florida for ALL of its neighbors to live, work and play.


Ruth Schwarzkopf, RN

“Efforts are underway to rethink nursing education and training so that it meets the needs of an aging population with increasingly complex chronic diseases.  The capacity of today’s nursing workforce must be strengthened to meet growing demands to provide the skills nurses need as the healthcare delivery system continues to evolve towards more team-based, data-driven, and coordinated care.”

—Ruth Schwarzkopf, RN, Palm Healthcare Foundation Trustee; Chief Nursing Officer, West Boca Medical Center; Regional Nurse Executive, Tenet Health; Chair, PHF Nursing Strategic Task Force


Mollie Wilmot

While most of the world remembers stylish Palm Beach socialite Mollie Wilmot for her graciousness to the crew of a large Venezuelan freighter that crashed into her seawall in 1985, there was much more behind those large sunglasses and glamorous blonde hair. Ms. Wilmot was also a low-key philanthropist, quietly supporting various healthcare and children’s programs. Her generosity funded the Mollie Wilmot Children’s Center on the first floor of Palm Healthcare Pavilion, which provides compassionate and dignified healthcare for both special needs children and their families throughout Palm Beach County. Mollie Wilmot left an indelible mark on the lives she touched. She is fondly remembered by her friends as the statuesque lady with the oversized sunglasses. She spent much of her youth in Europe learning about art and was known for her sense of style and taste. Many people became acquainted with Mollie in 1985 when her Palm Beach home made international headlines. Few will forget the picture of a gigantic black oil tanker dangling off the seawall of Mollie’s Palm Beach mansion. She responded by sending breakfast to the crew!