Hospitals get pushback on Mar-a-Lago fundraisers

Dive Brief:

  • Plans by two big-name hospitals to host fundraising events at the Trump Organization’s Mar-a-Lago Club have triggered protests from physicians, patients and others alarmed by the Trump administration’s anti-science and inhumane policies, The Atlantic reported.
  • The Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic both have fundraisers scheduled for this month at the Palm Beach, FL, resort, which charges $150,000 to host such events. 
  • The protests over fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago come as some major retailers are facing boycotts over Ivanka Trump’s fashion collection, which protesters see as directly or indirectly supporting the president. Recently, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus announced they would stop carrying Ivanka-branded products.

Dive Insight:

Scores of Harvard Medical School students and faculty signed a petition pressing Dana-Farber to relocate its fundraiser because of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, which they maintain is at odds with the hospital’s mission, STAT reported.

There have also been turnouts at GOP town hall in support of the Affordable Care Act and callers expressing concerns about HHS Secretary Tom Price’s ties to healthcare companies. The public outcry puts businesses in a bind that ultimately just want to make money. Hospitals and health systems now have to consider their brand under the Trump administration.

In response to the public outcry over its upcoming Feb. 18 fundraiser, Dana-Farber announced that it will avoid “controversial venues” going forward, according to STAT. CEO Laurie Glimcher said in a statement Thursday that the event had become a “lightning rod” and stressed that the institution would steer clear of venues that could be seen as making a political statement so as “not to distract from our focus on cancer care and research.”

The Mar-a-Lago uproar suggests that hospitals and health systems must think carefully about their brand under a Trump administration and develop best practices to avoid any hint of a political or policy endorsement.

Filed Under: Hospital Administration Policy & Regulation