When Thomas Joseph became a member of the Providence Milwaukie Foundation Board in 1995, he planned to stay no more than 10 years. Now 27 years later, he still is on the board and has made plans to support the hospital long into the future.  

“One of the reasons I stay is I want to let the community know about Providence Milwaukie Hospital,” he said. “I want to keep expanding on all the great things we do for the Clackamas County community.”

The other reason he stays is the close relationships he’s developed with members of the hospital leadership team. He points to the hospital’s Community Teaching Kitchen and dental clinic as examples of how the hospital and generous donors support area residents in need.

Thomas is a long-time Clackamas County leader and supporter. Before he retired, he operated a small chain of local dry cleaners and has been active in many Clackamas County organizations over the years.

Thomas and his wife, Liz Thekkedom, a retired registered nurse, have named three Clackamas County organizations as beneficiaries in their will: Providence Milwaukie Foundation, LaSalle Catholic College Preparatory School and Clackamas Rotary Foundation.

The couple designated their Providence Milwaukie Foundation estate gift as going to the Area of Greatest Need Fund, rather than naming a specific program.

“We didn’t want to restrict it to just one area. I trust the foundation board and hospital leaders to make the right decision about where that money goes,” Thomas said. “Needs change over time, and this will help address that. Ten years ago, we never thought about the teaching kitchen, and 20 years ago we didn’t know we would need a dental clinic.”

Thomas and his family strongly believe in giving back to their community.

“I wanted to be that gardener who plants, fertilizes, pull weeds and nurtures,” he said. “I may not be there when that plant flowers … but I want others to be able to enjoy it.” 


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