Sue Desmond-Hellmann is a physician, scientist, and philanthropist, who has devoted her career to improving the human condition. As a pioneer in healthcare for more than 30 years, she hass driven major developments toward the eradication of disease, poverty, and inequity. She credits a move to Uganda in 1989 — to work on HIV/AIDS and cancer alongside her husband, Nick — as a turning point. “It was so profound to recognize … that all the learning I had done to become a doctor didn’t matter at all if I didn’t make a contribution,” she says.
Today, as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Desmond‑Hellmann leads the organization’s vision for a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Drawing on her diverse experience in both the public and private sectors, she creates an environment for talented and committed individuals to help more children and young people survive and thrive, combat infectious diseases that hit the poorest hardest, and empower people — particularly women and girls — to transform their lives.
Trained as an oncologist, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann spent 14 years at biotech firm Genentech developing a number of breakthrough medicines, including two of the first gene‑targeted therapies for cancer, Avastin and Herceptin. In November 2009, Forbes magazine named her one of the world’s seven most “powerful innovators,” calling her “a hero to legions of cancer patients.” Her time at Genentech put her at the forefront of the precision medicine revolution, and in her current role, she champions a similar approach to global development: precision public health — getting the right interventions, to the right populations, in the right places, to save lives.
Immediately prior to joining the Foundation in 2014, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann was the first female chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), overseeing all aspects of the University’s and medical center’s strategy and operations. It was her second stint at UCSF, having completed her clinical training there in the 1980s.
Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She was listed among Fortune magazine’s “top 50 most powerful women in business” for seven years and, in 2010, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and elected to the Institute of Medicine. In 2017, she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, and she serves on the board of directors at Facebook, Inc.
Glen Curda’s Weekly Photos
Please join us for BRC Thirsty Thursday, from 6:00-8:00PM, at Henry’s Tavern, 500 Bellevue Way NE, Ste 310 (located on the third floor, across from the new cinema).
Thirsty Thursday is a great way to introduce new and prospective Rotarians to our club and members. Bring your friends, partners, and guests to share appetizers (hosted) and drinks (no‑host), and get to know your fellow BRC members at this fun fellowship event (free parking).
Prospective members and guests are welcome and encouraged to attend! This also counts as a make‑up.
Questions? Contact Debbie Acton.
The next Book Group gathering will be on Wednesday, April 17, from 7:00‑9:00PM, and we are looking for a host. The book selection for April is “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande, named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune. If you (and partner) plan on attending, or if you can host this discussion, please contact Margaret Doman.
If you have an ODD numbered birth year, please bring a bottle of wine to share.
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Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should.
Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.
In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures-in his own practices as well as others’-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life — all the way to the very end.
“Wise and deeply moving.” — Oliver Sacks
“Illuminating.” — Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Beautifully written … In his newest and best book, Gawande has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.” — The New York Review of Books
“Gawande’s book is so impressive that one can believe that it may well [change the medical profession] … May it be widely read and inwardly digested.” ― Diana Athill, Financial Times (UK)
Block your calendars! Howard Donkin and lodge host Spoon Dickey have just confirmed that this season’s Crystal Mountain Crystal Mountain Overnight event will take place March 5 and 6, 2019.
As most know, this decades‑old event for BRC members and prospective members only departs for the rustic lodge (women’s rooms and dorm upstairs, men’s rooms and dorm downstairs, kitchen at main level) at the Crystal Mountain base after our luncheon meeting that Tuesday.
Tuesday night is usually a happy hour, followed by dinner and cards, with skiing/boarding on Wednesday. Some will plan to ski/board both days, and some will come up for the evening events only and return to Bellevue just after breakfast or snowshoeing Wednesday. We usually gather for lunch at 1:00PM at the Snorting Elk, at base area. At this point some call it a day, while others continue on, skiing/boarding/lounge lizarding.
If you are interested in any or all the participation options, please block your calendars for those dates, pending your final decision, and email Scott East to indicate if you can or tentatively plan to attend, have prospective members who might be interested, and/or if you have questions.
For the first time, Rotary District 5080 (Spokane area clubs) and District 5030 (Seattle area clubs) will Come Together, in Spokane, for a joint district conference, May 16‑19, at the Spokane Convention Center.
Keynote speakers include nationally renowned business speaker Angelo Lombardo, Rotary International President, Barry Rassin, and the legendary Bill Gates, reflecting on Rotary’s partnership with the Gates Foundation.
Workshops will help to mold new thinking. Socials and home visits will introduce you to new friends and Rotary partners.
The Bellevue Rotary First Harvest Work Party is held the second Saturday, every other month, from 8:30-11:00AM, at the Northwest Harvest Warehouse, 22220 68th Ave S, Kent. This is a wonderful and meaningful way to be a part of a hands-on project that helps people in our own community. All Rotarians, family members and friends are invited to help! (Children must be at least 3rd grade or 9 years old.)
The Bellevue Rotary Club organizes work parties every other month, but you can sign up to attend a work party in any month. Just visit the Rotary First Harvest website and click on the sign up link for the date of the work party in which you wish to participate. A one-step form will open for you to complete, and you can use this form to sign up for a work party several months in advance.