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George Eastman Circle

George Eastman Circle (GEC) members are honoring George Eastman’s philanthropic legacy and are establishing new traditions to inspire others.  GEC members make a five-year unrestricted pledge of $1,500 or greater annually.

Thompson Health has a number of GEC members who help our health system respond quickly to new opportunities and unexpected needs by designating their GEC gift to impact Thompson Health.

 

 

Brian and Kelly Meath, George Eastman Circle members

Kelly and Brian Meath, George Eastman Circle member

The timing couldn’t have been worse: Kelly Meath went into labor 12 weeks early and the contractions began at 3 a.m., just as the epic ice storm of March 1991 began to wreak havoc throughout the region. 


Thank goodness Thompson Hospital was only two miles away.

“Without knowing much about the storm, we immediately went to Thompson Hospital, where the doctors and nurses confirmed that Kelly was in labor,” said husband Brian, the retired former Vice President/Associate General Counsel for Constellation Brands. “They were great. They did everything they could to prevent delivery, and once they got her stabilized, the Thompson doctors recommended Kelly go to Strong Memorial Hospital right away.”

It was a harrowing transport performed heroically by the Canandaigua Emergency Squad.

“At the time, it was probably the worst part of the ice storm,” Brian explained. “Fallen trees, and telephone and electric lines and poles, were blocking roads everywhere and all roads were closed except for emergency vehicles. I followed the ambulance to Strong as they navigated their way around all the blocked roads. The route we took was far from the most direct, but we arrived safely and in time to allow the doctors and nurses at Strong to continue to treat Kelly.”

“The doctors and nurses at Strong were amazing,” added Kelly. “They managed to prevent delivery for another four days.”

Kyle was born on March 9, 1991, 11½ weeks premature and he spent the first seven weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Today he’s a fine young man, 26 years old, lives in Canandaigua and serves on the Ontario ARC Board of Directors. We’re forever grateful to the doctors and nurses at Thompson Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital for the exceptional care during that difficult time.”

The Meaths have shown their appreciation over the years with generous gifts of time and money. Brian has served on various Thompson committees and boards over the last 20 years and is a former Chairman of the Thompson Foundation Board. He currently serves on the UR Medicine Thompson Health Board of Directors as Board Secretary, and is on the boards of directors at United Way of Ontario County and on the advisory board for Happiness House/Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association. Kelly served on the Wood Library Board of Directors for many years and recently rotated off the board.

The Meaths also are eight-year members of the George Eastman Circle at the University of Rochester, where their annual donations are allocated equally among UR Medicine Thompson Health, Golisano Children’s Hospital and the UR Simon School of Business. They view their gifts as sound investments.

“We are blessed to have a healthcare facility of this caliber in our community” said Kelly, an adjunct instructor at Finger Lakes Community College.

 

 

Patrick and Kelly Coleman, George Eastman Circle members

Kelly and Patrick Coleman, Friend of Thompson Health

 

More than 80 years after his death, the legacy of Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman continues to thrive, and Patrick Coleman is among those nourishing its growth. 

A benefits broker, Coleman in 2016 joined the George Eastman Circle, a leadership giving society created by the University of Rochester 11 years ago. Collectively, its nearly 4,900 members have donated more than $80 million by making five-year, unrestricted pledges to funds representing their greatest passions. 

With more than 200 funds to choose from for an annual gift of $1,500 or more, Patrick chose Thompson Health. 

“Every community needs a great hospital it can rely upon for quality care and medical services. We have that in Thompson Hospital, which is unique in that it provides excellent care while maintaining the feel of a community hospital,” said Patrick, who was born at Thompson and lives in Victor with his wife Kelly and their sons Evan and Andrew.  

George Eastman Circle members enjoy a host of benefits, including invitations to select events and lectures, special access to the George Eastman Circle Hospitality Suite during Meliora Weekend, networking opportunities with other members and updates on major University news, as well as recognition on Honor Roll listings and at University events. 

Annual Fund gifts made through the George Eastman Circle provide unrestricted, current-use resources giving Thompson the flexibility to respond quickly to new opportunities and unexpected needs. These generous gifts help strengthen the health system’s primary and secondary care services, upgrade and enhance medical technology as well as attract and retain the best clinical staff. 

Patrick appreciates the convenience of the George Eastman Circle, as well as the ability to help shape the future of the region, for his family and for other families as well. 

“Thompson really stands out in providing a higher level of care,” he said, “and Kelly and I are proud to help that level of exceptionalism continue.”