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A dream fulfilled

Founding foundation board member retires

“The most important thing we have are our children,” said Eleanor Goode, who recently retired from Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We have to take care of their health.”

As a nursing student at the University of Virginia, Eleanor developed a passion for health care. As a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, she was drawn to what is now Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the sorority’s national philanthropy. After graduation, Eleanor served for five years as Kappa Delta’s hospital representative, where she was responsible for distributing gifts from KDs across the country and organizing the annual KD Halloween party. She also was an ex-officio member of the hospital’s Senior Board, a volunteer board of women who support the hospital.

After her KD term ended, Eleanor was elected to the Senior Board and served as its president for three years. She later became a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees, a position she held until 2010 when the Foundation became an independent entity. She joined the Foundation’s board of directors and served as chairman for six years.

As the only Foundation board member with a medical background, Eleanor shared her vision for the hospital, which included recruiting more pediatric specialists and establishing a heart program. Through generous donations and support from the community, the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center was established in 2014 with a 10-year, $28 million commitment from the Foundation. In 2016, the hospital opened its outpatient Pavilion, and this spring, CHoR announced the construction of a new inpatient facility.

“It’s a new beginning,” said Eleanor, principal broker with Metropolitan Real Estate. “Everybody has a child or knows a child who will need the hospital at some time. This hospital shows the community that we believe in children’s health, and we will take care of everyone.”

In Eleanor’s honor, the Foundation’s board of directors recently established the Eleanor M. Goode Endowed Chair in Pediatric Medicine at CHoR. The first recipient is Dr. Timothy Bunchman, professor and chief, nephrology.

Over the years, Eleanor’s involvement has been a family affair with her two children joining her for KD Halloween parties, her son completing his Eagle Scout project at the hospital, and her daughter-in-law working for the hospital and later volunteering on the Junior Board and serving as its president. While her five grandchildren haven’t needed CHoR’s services, Eleanor said she’s glad the hospital is here — and is excited for the next chapter.

“I stayed on until I got my dream fulfilled,” said Eleanor. “The joy is seeing the hospital go up. The dream is that health care is there for all children.”

Photo - While serving as the hospital's Kappa Delta representative, Eleanor Goode visited with patients at the KD Halloween party in 1972.