Leaving a Lasting Legacy through the Foundation
Pat Anderson was born and raised in Nebraska. After growing up in Sutton, attending the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and spending a brief period of time living out of state, Pat and her late husband, Jack, ended up in Columbus.
“We spent two years on the West Coast and then Illinois where Jack was a mixed practice veterinarian,” Pat said. “We moved to Columbus in 1978, and I’ve been here ever since.”
Upon moving to Columbus, the Andersons opened a swine consulting practice with Jack serving as veterinarian and Pat eventually acting as business manager.
“He acquired two other veterinary clinics out of town. He was gone a lot, and I was the one who stayed home to keep track of the business,” Pat said.
The couple was heavily involved in the community and were members of several local groups, such as the Masonic Lodge, Sesostris Shrine Temple and Elks Lodge. They also kept busy with three children.
In 2008, Pat became a member of the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors, something she still takes pride in today.
“The hospital is such an important part of a community our size, and I thought it was a great opportunity to do something that would have far-reaching implications down the road,” she said.
Pat served on the board from 2008 to 2015, holding the title of secretary from 2012 to 2015.
During her time on the board, Pat helped raise money for several projects within the hospital, but her contributions to the facility and the community of Columbus grew even more over time.
The Andersons’ relationship with the hospital changed in 1991 when Jack was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 48.
“His diagnosis led us to an awareness of what was available in our community,” Pat said. “When we didn’t find what we were looking for at that time, we began looking at other communities to see what was available.”
Jack attended a program through the University of Arizona in Tucson to help with his symptoms. Through the program, he participated in simple exercises that helped him regain his strength and allowed him to resume activities he thought he would never do again.
Making a Difference
Their experience in Arizona made a lasting impression on the Andersons, and from that point forward, their mission was to help bring something similar to Columbus.
Jack and Pat made a donation to the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation. Their wish was to give others access to the same exercises they found so successful. Thanks to their initial contribution to the Foundation, the CCH Rehabilitative Services Department now offers several programs for individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease.
“We were both very pleased that we were able to help some of the staff get extra training. They were an upbeat group and really got things going,” Pat said.
Since the Andersons’ donation, additional donations have been made and resources have been allocated to create more Parkinson’s Disease programs.
Jack passed away in 2012, but his legacy will live on through these programs.
“I have been so gratified with what I have seen. Our benefit from the Foundation has been seeing other people move up and forward,” Pat said.
“Every little bit helps. If you can enhance somebody else’s life with your donation, it is well worth it.”