The charity named the donation organization after Dallas medical leader Karn Wilddenthal

Khan Wildenthal — a longtime Dallas community leader, fundraiser and medical researcher — is now the namesake of the Southwestern Medical Foundation’s charitable foundation.

The renaming of the endowment association, recently approved unanimously by board members, is a way to honor Wildenthal for more than 50 years of tireless work to sustain and ultimately transform the medical center into a place of distinction.

“UT Southwestern University has become one of the truly outstanding academic medical centers in the world, especially in the United States. Khan Wildenthal played a key role in laying the foundation for UT Southwestern University. .FOUNDATION BOARD.

Wildenthal, 81, is credited for his service as hospital director and for putting Dallas’ medical community on the map. Under his leadership, UT Southwestern has transformed into the prestigious institution it is today, ranked among the top 25 research universities in the world.

Wildenthal was president of the hospital for over 20 years and helped the hospital achieve global standing through massive fundraising efforts. After graduating from school with a medical degree and conducting academic studies, he eventually turned to an administrative position at his alma mater. He was the dean at first.

The Medical Foundation is a public charity dedicated to advancing medical research and raising funds for its primary beneficiaries, hospitals. Operates independently of UT Southwestern.

“When I was informed, I was very honored for all sorts of reasons,” said Wildenthal. We’ve been dedicated to helping make things better, and it’s a great honor to be recognized by the Foundation.”

Wildenthal and his wife, Marnie, were early contributing members of the Foundation’s Heritage Society, launched in 1995 to recognize those who donate gifts to hospitals. The association now has nearly 300 of his members, some of whom remain anonymous.

The decision to name the association after Wildenthal has been a conversation going on for some time, said Jere Thompson Jr., recently elected president of the charity. He added that showing gratitude to doctors in this way has been long overdue.

“There is no one like Khan. I didn’t think of anyone else,” Thompson said. “For all of us here in North Texas, we are lucky beneficiaries of his contributions.

Wildenthal’s decades-long service career has resulted in an endowment fund that has grown to over $1.3 billion in 2008.

“When you walk up and down Harry Hines, you see all these buildings and all this land…it’s like it’s always been here,” said Thompson. Back when Wildenthal took over, there was nothing here, he acquired hundreds of acres to expand the Dallas campus.”

When Wildenthal first returned to UTSW in 1970, it had just started receiving over $1 million in state funding each year.

“When I got here in 1960, this little school had two buildings and was just starting to take off,” he said. “Budgets started to increase in 1965, so there were a lot of opportunities here and I wanted to ride that wave.”

However, state funding for medical centers did not last long. In 1986, an economic recession hit Texas, leading to budget cuts and less funding for medical schools, and Wildenthal and his team had to turn to philanthropy.

“We couldn’t rely on the state for our future. We had to look to the community,” he said, echoing the sentiment that led to the formation of the giving society.

year 2012, dallas morning news We reported on Wildenthal’s financial history during the UTSW fundraiser, including spending on international travel, opera and wine. An investigation found some of his spending to be “inappropriate.”

Soon after the report came out, Wildenthal resigned as chairman of the foundation and paid less than $6,100 in damages after an audit by the university. There was no evidence of diversion.

Former chairman Solomon said the success of his colleague’s fundraiser was due to his hard work and dedication to selling products like UT Southwestern University.

“He was passionate about it and was passionate about developing people in the community who had the capacity to provide financial and other support,” Solomon said.

Now a consultant to various healthcare organizations, Wildenthal says her advice to future generations of healthcare leaders is to focus on quality and excellence and establish relationships within the community.

“You don’t raise money. You build relationships,” he said. “Once a good relationship of trust is built and people understand what their money is going to be used for, that it will be treated with respect and will be used for good, people will be more than happy to help.”

It’s unclear exactly why he earned the society’s naming distinction, but Wildenthal is proud of the work he’s done for the charity.

“We have built great relationships with community leaders, philanthropists, politicians and other nonprofits.

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