Close Print View Issue

A Passion for Family, a Vision for the Future

Mike-Smith-Family-2.JPGAsk any one of Mike and Shelly Smith’s six children where they were born and you are likely get a different answer. Mike, EMHS Foundation president, and his wife of 24 years traveled to far off places like Guatemala and China, and relatively close by Kansas, to adopt each one of their beloved children.

“Adoption is our way of creating a family,” says Mike. “It has certainly brought more joy and love to us than we ever imagined. Adoption is absolutely worth the journey.”

Mike spends his days with some of the most inspirational people in our community, the generous donors who improve healthcare by providing financial support for the technology, facilities, and staff that make it possible for EMHS employees to provide the highest quality care.

“My vision for philanthropy at EMHS is to expand our base of donors and help the community understand how their support affects healthcare in every region of Maine,” said Mike. “EMHS is such an important resource because it elevates quality healthcare services in local communities. Donors are an essential part of the picture because they provide funding for equipment, programs, and services that otherwise might not be available.”

Mike leads a team of 30 professionals who raise money for EMHS member organizations from Aroostook to Cumberland County. Their work includes connecting community members with programs and patient care services, and leading philanthropic campaigns, like those underway at Eastern Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital. EMHS Foundation also coordinates the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program that supports care for local kids.

In his first few weeks on the job, Mike, who has worked in university fundraising for most of his life, has developed a deeper understanding of how healthcare donors make a difference and a strong appreciation for how his work has a positive effect every day.

“By raising money, we’re playing a role in saving lives,” he said. “It’s really powerful to be able to help our healthcare team be better equipped to do their work. The money we raise here, whether it benefits a local child or a cancer patient, improves lives. Why wouldn’t someone want to give for that?”

Mike’s plans for the future include developing EMHS Foundation into a more comprehensive philanthropy organization focused on increasing support from individuals, corporations, and foundations, creating a more robust program for giving through estates, and ensuring EMHS Foundation is structured to be as efficient and effective as possible.

“It’s an exciting time for the Foundation, as we’re working to take our philanthropy program to the next level and provide as much value as possible to member organizations,” he said. “We have a great team and a strong base to start from, and we’re driven by being able to make a difference in every community served by EMHS.”

Mike spends most weekends with his family in Rhode Island and looks forward to his wife and kids’ upcoming move to Maine.

“I’m very much a family person, so it will be great to be together again,” he said. “We’re one of those families that kind of sticks together. We love to hike and bike and just spend time together. Maine will be a wonderful place for us to explore.”