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Healthcare Member Spotlight: Mary Ehart, Assistant VP at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 12, 2017  
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Mary Ehart, Assistant VP at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Foundation, started out her non-profit career working for the National Adoption Center, where she helped build the first national database to match potential adoptive parents with children with special needs. “This is where I found an affinity for improving people’s lives through streamlining systems, processes and data,” she says. 

Eleven years ago, after working in social services, arts and culture, and education, Ehart came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She was new to healthcare and took on the challenges of a large children’s non-profit health-care institution, which operates under strict HIPAA compliance rules. One challenge with children’s hospital fundraising is that the patients are not the donors. Ehart’s team needed to build and support systems, and programs, that strengthened the connections and relationships that get the job of fundraising done.

Throughout her career, Ehart was exposed to many industry professional groups, but having found AASP in its second year of existence, she found a place with like-minded, committed non-profit professionals. "AASP is a great sounding board for my ideas, best practices and professional networking. It is a place for me to continue to learn from industry experts and peers.” The many connections she has made, from the non-profit world through AASP, have been some of her most informative and rewarding relationships.

As the Assistant Vice President of Development Services, Ehart oversees direct marketing, financial management, office management, gift administration, data services and business analytics, business technology and data integration, and human resources. She now finds herself primarily in an advisory role, focusing on the best practices for reporting and data management. Ehart also works to determine the needs for her department and provide lasting solutions.

The challenge she sees ahead of her, in addition to the current changing political climate impacting health care, is looking at the next set of technology tools that will meet the needs of a mid-size non-profit organization. Ehart is tasked with determining the best ways to inspire donors to stay engaged and placing frontline staff where they want to be.

One of her most important accomplishments thus far has been building her team and stronger infrastructure with the resources she has been given at CHOP. In the same spirit as she had spending three years living and teaching English in Japan, Ehart says that ‘saying yes to opportunities’ is the best advice she has received in her career.

Spotlight by Tamsin Burns, Membership Committee member