As a teenager, David Westbrook became blind from a rare condition – juvenile glaucoma.
Westbrook endured eight operations, six of which were experimental, and long hospitalizations to try and save his eyesight at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Although he lost his vision, he went on to become an exemplary college student, a successful business owner and a well-known strategic communications consultant, before joining Children’s Mercy in 2008.
Now Westbrook is the hospital’s Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation. Humbled by the achievements of the physicians and providers who support the hospital’s ophthalmology program, Westbrook is giving back to express his gratitude. He is donating $1 million to Children’s Mercy, and in his honor, our leading-edge Ophthalmology Clinic bears his name.
During the dedication ceremony, Randall L. O’Donnell, PhD, President and CEO of Children’s Mercy, said that Westbrook is a true strategic thinker and asset to the hospital: “The way his mind works is an incredible gift,” he said. “He visualizes the future, helps solve problems and has mentored many people here along the way. We are proud the Ophthalmology Clinic bears his name. I can’t think of a better fit.”
Westbrook says that every day he comes to work, he is excited about what’s happening at Children’s Mercy: “We are fostering hope, building extraordinary programs and transforming medicine on a daily basis. We’re working together toward common goals and are devoted to research that leads to innovative breakthroughs.”
In the David H. Westbrook Ophthalmology Clinic building, a plaque is engraved with the inspirational philosophy of giving and receiving Westbrook lives by:
“Children are the conscience of a community, which means the care and attention given to a community’s children becomes the most elegant measure of that community’s regard for itself. How elegant is that measure today? How elegant will be that measure tomorrow? The way we treat our children today, after all, will send a signal to future generations we will never meet.” − David H. Westbrook