Founders' Board

The Founders' Board supports Lurie Children's mission of providing the most advanced and compassionate healthcare for children and their families.

The Board is made up of 105 active members and over 60 associate members. They provide support through active engagement and philanthropy, stewardship and fundraising, advocacy, hospital governance and volunteerism.

Leadership Legacy

In 1882, Children's Memorial Hospital founder Julia Foster Porter recruited a board of her close associates to serve as the first Board of Lady Managers, later known as the Woman's Board. In 2007, the Board officially changed its name to the Founders' Board to reflect its leadership legacy. For more than 130 years, members have played an integral role in the hospital's growth and in the establishment of its new home, Lurie Children's, in 2012.


Founders' Board members hold positions on various committees within both the Medical Center Board and the Foundation Board of Directors.


The Board works closely with the hospital's Government and Community Relations team to help advance policy initiatives and actively communicate the hospital's position on children's healthcare issues.

Fundraising and Events

The Founders' Board is the hospital's most enduring philanthropic partner. In the last decade alone, the Board has provided critical funds totaling more than $25 million for a number of endowed chairs for Lurie Children's staff and faculty.

In January 2016, the Founders’ Board embarked on a two-year, $4.5 million fundraising commitment to support two leading physician-scientists at Lurie Children’s. The first part of the commitment will fund an endowed chair for the Division Head of Pediatric Surgery, a position currently held by Fizan Abdullah, MD, PhD. This endowment will generate valuable resources to advance Dr. Abdullah’s vision for the long-term growth and development of our surgical services, including the creation of a fetal intervention program, which will be one of the few of its kind in the nation. The second part of this commitment will support the vision of Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP. Dr. Davis holds the dual role of Associate Director of Health Services and Community-Based Research and Division Head of General Pediatrics. He is working to build the scientific knowledge base in order to support effective advocacy, policies and programs that reduce disparities and promote the health and well-being of Chicago area children, their families, and their communities. Dr. Davis holds the A Todd Davis Professorship in Academic General Pediatrics.

In 2015, the Board completed their most recent fundraising commitment, which was a three-year, $5.8 million gift. This gift supported four key clinical areas, including: the Divisions of Urology, Neonatology, Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, as well as the Department of Clinical and Translational Research. Additionally, $500,000 of this commitment has been earmarked to provide operational support to the hospital’s violence-prevention program, Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY).

Members raise funds through personal appeals and outreach, retail operations and annual fundraising events including:

  • The Pro Amateur Golf Championship, one of the oldest and most successful golf tournaments in the country; since its inception over half a century ago, the Pro Am has raised more than $20 million
  • Winter Wishes: Holiday Cocktail Celebration, kicks off the holiday season and celebrates the life-saving and compassionate healthcare Lurie Children’s provides
  • Winter Wishes: Holiday Outreach Event, provides students at Chicago Public Schools with the opportunity to experience the joy of Navy Pier’s Winter Wonder-Fest


In addition to providing hospital leadership and fundraising expertise, the Founders' Board members volunteer their time and talents to provide support to ourpatients and their families, and to recognize the excellent care provided by our nursing staff. The president of the Founders' Board, currently Robin Zafirovski, serves a three-year volunteer term and works from an office in the hospital on a daily basis.

To learn more about the Founders' Board, please contact us at 312.227.4346.