Kathleen A. Muldoon is passionate about The Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas. It's a hospital that is known in some distant parts of the world — its trauma specialists have trained doctors at every hospital in Israel, for example. But it's the hospital's local reputation that Muldoon cares about.
A member of the Parkland Foundation and the chair of its Planned Giving Council, Muldoon advocates for the hospital among the lawyers, accountants, and other financial advisors in the community.
She first became a volunteer about seven years ago at the suggestion of a client. It was an invitation she warmed to easily; a sister-in-law spent nearly three months at the hospital with a high-risk pregnancy before giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
Muldoon's advocacy within the professional community helps the hospital with fund raising, she says. Many of the professionals she talks to about the hospital take her message to their clients, who then donate. One of these clients alone provided $500,000 to set up matching grants from other donors for special needs at the hospital, for example. She connects with connectors, in other words.
Muldoon herself has helped to raise more than $35,000 to cover an unusual hospital expense: burial or cremation costs for indigent families whose infants die during deliveries. These funds will cover such needs at the hospital for nearly two years, Muldoon estimates. “It struck a chord in a couple of places, and contributions were made,” she says.
Promoting the work of the hospital can sometimes be a tough job. The hospital provides a great deal of care to homeless people and immigrants, which has drawn some fire since the launch last fall of a $1.27 billion renovation project, its first major upgrade in 60 years. “That can be very controversial, especially in a time when people feel financially stressed. ‘Where are my tax dollars going?’” Muldoon says. “It's a hot topic. Immigration issues are controversial. This is Texas, it's a border state…We are all plugged into this community, and people talk.”
But when professionals in the region express skepticism over the hospital's mission, Muldoon knows the details of the hospital's plans well enough to defend the spending and improvements. Patients who leave with the proper home care preparations are less likely to relapse and return to the hospital for more costly treatment, for example. And she wins some over to the hospital's cause.See all of Registered Rep.'s Altruism Award Winners" class="old-inline-image">
Firm: Carter Financial Management, Raymond James Financial Services
City: Dallas, Texas
Years as rep: 31
Years with current firm: 31
Production: $1.1 million
AUM: $222 million
Product mix: Equities 38%; fixed income 34%; cash 15%; alternatives 6%; miscellaneous 7%
Specialties: Advising doctors and lawyers; life transitions such as divorce and death
Designations, licenses: CFP; Series 7, 63