When asked to pinpoint when her relationship with the University of Washington began, Anne Gittinger says it was probably the day she was born. “The University of Washington was part of our family,” she says. Anne grew up right next door to the University, just across the Montlake Bridge. She fondly recalls, whenever it snowed in the Montlake neighborhood, pulling a sled with her dad across that bridge over to the University Golf Course. The former golf course property is now the location of the UW Medical Center. Moreover, both of Anne’s parents attended the UW, as did her brother and she and her late husband, D. Wayne Gittinger.
Anne, a UW Medicine Presidential Laureate, is a longtime generous supporter of the University of Washington and of UW Medicine. “I’m passionate about the UW School of Medicine. It provides such a good education for students, our entire community and for people around the world actually,” she says. “Locally, their hospitals, clinics and doctors provide outstanding care. People literally travel to the UW for excellent medical care.”
This year, to honor her contributions and her leadership, she is being recognized with the Brotman Leadership Award. The award, established in 2007, honors people like Jeff and Susan Brotman whose generosity and visionary leadership have been central to UW Medicine’s work in research, teaching and patient care.
“Anne’s unrestricted gift is one of the most important gifts we receive each year as it allows me the flexibility to invest in a wide variety of programs to ensure we are supporting our most critical needs,” says Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO, UW Medicine, and dean of the UW School of Medicine.
What does Anne hope her gifts will accomplish? “Nothing but good,” she simply says. Because Anne gives without restriction, her gifts are doing good things to improve the health of the public throughout the UW Medicine healthcare system and medical school.
Some of the amazing accomplishments that have happened with the help of Anne’s generous support include the UW Center for Excellence in the Neurobiology of Addiction, Pain and Emotion, including recruiting leading faculty and renowned scientists, and the construction of a new childbirth center at UW Medical Center-Northwest.
Anne has also supported critical programs such as the Transition to Life program, which helps the Husky men’s and women’s rowing teams adjust to normal life after living as competitive athletes, and the Service Learning Program, which allows medical students to participate in programs that provide basic healthcare to at-risk communities. Anne’s support has also fueled cancer-busting vaccines by funding valuable vaccine trials through the Cancer Vaccine Institute, in addition to supporting numerous other essential centers, programs and initiatives.
“Her gifts have helped UW Medicine, and we are so grateful to honor her with the Brotman Leadership Award,” adds Dr. Ramsey.
Anne says she is truly humbled and honored for this award. With medicine becoming increasingly complicated, she feels compelled to support UW Medicine – not only because of the amazing work being done but also because she’s lucky enough to call the UW and this region home. “The University of Washington has enriched my life, in countless ways. I believe it makes all of us better people. I’m so happy to be able to be a part of that,” she says.