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A Whole New Ballgame

News June 15, 2023

A group photo with Dr. Goldberg at the Phillies Stadium

Temple Health’s Acres of Diamonds Gala fundraiser welcomes Philadelphia’s champions for equitable healthcare to Citizens Bank Park. 

The 68th Annual Acres of Diamonds Gala became a whole a new ball game as one of the oldest charity events in Philadelphia celebrated Temple Health’s life-saving mission and raised funds for patient care with a fun-filled night of dinner and dancing at Citizens Bank Park - the home of the National League champion Phillies. 

This year’s Gala - held on Thursday, May 18 – completely reimagined the black-tie celebrations held in years past. But the same joyful spirit ran through the evening — a celebration of hope, healing and wellness, and an unwavering dedication to providing compassionate care to all.  

The star-studded lineup of Gala co-chairs included Philadelphia singer Lauren Hart and her husband, entrepreneur Todd Carmichael; Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins and his wife, Jayme; and Jimmy Rollins, the legendary former Phillies shortstop and four-time Golden Glove winner.  

Bohm was called on to pinch hit for Rhys and Jamie, who were unable to attend. Mickey Morandini, former Phillies second baseman and current Phillies ambassador, emceed the event. 

Early in the evening, Temple University’s drumline, pep band, and jazz ensembles provided an up-tempo musical backdrop. Guests were encouraged to go down onto the field to visit the dugouts and walk the bases. Silent auction tables were packed with Temple memorabilia. 

The Phillies Stadium with the Temple Mascot and Band

In his welcome remarks, delivered from a podium at home plate, Michael A. Young, President and CEO of Temple University Health System, lauded Temple’s role as a premier academic medical center in the region, with several hospital campuses, specialty care offices and a leading medical school. 

“We are at the cutting edge of medicine and research, and the bedside of every patient who needs us. We are working together to make a real difference for our patients and our neighbors,” he said. 

Temple Health’s most prestigious award — the Diamond Award — was presented to two dozen community health workers from the Temple Health System and the Center for Urban Bioethics at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine for their exceptional work in advancing social responsibility. 

Attendees of the Acres of Diamonds Gala 2023 standing on the side of the standium

“Temple is a national leader in training and utilizing community health workers who support our [medical] providers and serve as coaches and mentors for patients with chronic disease who desperately need health services,”

said Abhinav Rastogi, Temple University Hospital President and CEO.

“These incredible honorees are members of the North Philadelphia community who have found their calling in supporting their neighbors.” 

The community health workers take a mobile health van into the neighborhoods; run a patient clinic; make home visits to link patients with the support they need to enhance their care and health outcomes; serve as liaisons between patients and their providers to help patients follow their care plans; combat food insecurity, and address gun violence through gun-lock distribution and canvassing high-risk neighborhoods to help diffuse conflicts. 

“They have touched, improved, and saved countless lives,”

said Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, Marjorie Joy Katz Dean of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, who joined Rastogi in presenting the award.

“They are powered by love and a commitment to giving back. They are advocates. They are guardians. And they are heroes.” 

Following the remarks, the honorees were invited onto the field to receive medals commemorating the award, presented by Steve Carson, Senior Vice President for Population Health, Temple University Health System and CEO of the Temple Center for Population Health, Lakisha Sturgess,  Director of Community Care Management, Population Health for Temple University Health System, and Peter Simonsson,  Assistant Professor of Urban Health and Population Science at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. The medals presentation was highlighted by a live musical performance of the moving song “This is Me,” performed by Lauren Hart and Jessy Kyles, accompanied the Temple University Gospel Choir. 

Lateisha Copes, one of the Temple Health Community Health Workers honored on the evening, said “I felt appreciated and honored. It meant a lot to me and the team to be recognized for the work that we do for the community.” 

Rasheed Holland, a School Supervisor with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s Center for Urban Bioethics’ Cure Violence program, and also an honoree, said "It was a phenomenal night and one to remember. I've never really been a part of something like that. The most special thing was being able to bring my grandmother and having her see something positive come from me, allowing her to meet my team and see I'm part of something bigger." 

The evening also incorporated an exciting and inspirational live giving component. Guests were inspired by an exclusive video, produced in partnership with Temple Health’s advancement team and the Phillies, demonstrating the invaluable importance of teamwork in the pursuit of excellence.  Then, over the course of five minutes, the assembled attendees used a special QR code to donate over $100,000, watching as their names scrolled across the Phanavision screen. The live event pushed the total of the Gala’s proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships to $1.3 million. 

“There’s only one way in this house to celebrate knocking it out of the park,” said Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm. Moments later the stadium’s electronic Liberty Bell rang, a sound usually heard when a player for the home team blasts a home run or the Phillies notch a W. 

 Before the crowd went off to dancing to tunes by Philadelphia legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, Rollins, the former star shortstop, thanked everyone for coming. 

“It has been so awesome celebrating Temple Health!” Rollins said. “Thank you for all that you do for the Philadelphia community. You are champions!” 

DJ Jazzy Jeff and assistant at Temple

DJ Jazzy Jeff and dancers at the Acres of Diamonds 2023 Gala

There is still time to make a gift in honor of the Gala to support Temple’s lifesaving patient care across Temple Health campuses and throughout the region. Make your gift here. 

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