New director looking forward to connecting with communities
June 14, 2012
Through out the 60-year history of the hospital, donors have played a supporting role.
They've given money to pay for medical equipment, hospital beds and other furnishings in patient rooms, and donated to capital projects-most recently the SECU Hospice House.
On Thursday, the Johnston Health Foundation will honor them with a reception and the unveiling of a large wall-mounted plaque that marks milestones and lists the names of generous givers. More than 400 people have been invited to the event in the Bright Leaf lobby of Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield.
And among the greeters will be the foundation's new director, Alison Drain, whose charisma, energy and vision are already taking hold of Johnston Health's staff. "She's hit the ground running," says Lucy Coats, director of anesthesiology and chair of the foundation. "She's brought enthusiasm and fresh ideas. It's as if she was heaven-sent."
Since arriving in May, Drain has immersed herself in the nuts and bolts of the health care system's operations and service lines. She sees herself as both an advocate and storyteller, supporting and spreading the word about programs and services.
"My passion is going out and connecting people to the mission of the organization," she says. In addition to helping with capital campaigns, she wants to build an endowment to sustain programs.
Drain grew up in Charleston, W. Va. She is a 1999 graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Va. where she played soccer and made school history when she scored the most goals ever in a single season. She also has master's degrees in social work and public administration.
She and her husband, Andrew, recently moved from West Virginia to the Cleveland community to be close to his new job assignment in Raleigh. He is an examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Her career has included stints with several nonprofits, including the YMCA, the National MS Society and the Boys & Girls Club. She has counseled victims of sexual assault, managed programs and operations, developed marketing and public relations campaigns.
One of her favorite projects came about in 2006 while working as a marketing vice president for a construction company. She solicited donations, land and labor to build the first St. Jude's Children's Dream Home in W.Va. The home sold for $400,000, and all proceeds went to the nonprofit.
"It's so rewarding to help people who are in such need. It's cool to be part of a network of supporters," she says.
Drain says she looks forward to meeting local people and getting involved in causes that matter and improve lives. And among the family of donors who attend the foundation's function on Thursday, she's sure to find kindred spirits.