OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center receives major donation

12/01/2022 - Rockford, Illinois

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center has received one of the largest donations ever given from a living individual in the organization’s history.

John M. Pepe, a philanthropist and industrialist, has made the generous gift in memory of his late son, John M. Pepe, Jr., who died in 1963 from childhood leukemia at the age of 1. The gift will be used to fund an endowed chair of pediatric oncology named after his son, in support of the OSF HealthCare Cancer Institute campaign, the largest philanthropic campaign in the 145 year history of OSF HealthCare.

Pepe was president and CEO of John S. Barnes Corporation (now Concentric) and is currently chairman of the board for Hydraforce, Inc., which he co-founded in 1985. Pepe, who now lives in Florida, previously served on the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center advisory board, the foundation’s board of directors and served on the medical center’s investment committee.

This is not the first time Pepe (pep-ee) has generously given to OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. In 2015, a gift from Pepe was used to fund the OSF Saint Anthony’s newly expanded cancer center. The center was renamed the Patricia D. Pepe Center for Cancer Care, in memory of Pepe’s wife, Patricia, who died from cancer earlier that year. Patricia was an active community member who was involved in local gardening and arts clubs, serving on both the Rockford Symphony and Rockford Garden Club boards. The 15,000-square-foot expansion and 3,000-square foot renovation was created to meet the growing demand for outpatient oncology services. The Pepe family also donated the Garden of Hope, which is located outside of the cancer center, and the St. Francis Garden near the front entrance of the hospital in Rockford, Ill.

“I’ve been fortunate to have achieved success in my career, which has afforded me the opportunity to help others,” says Pepe. “To me, this recent gift is a way to bring my late wife and son together again. Pat and I were young at the time when our first child was born and ultimately passed away. My family has always enjoyed a special relationship with OSF Saint Anthony and the staff has treated my family wonderfully, as they have with so many other families. I’m proud to say that I’m still close with many of the Mission Partners and people I served on boards with over the many years.”

“John and his family have been tremendous supporters of OSF HealthCare for a long time,” said Ryan Duvall, Strategic Philanthropy Officer for the OSF HealthCare Foundation. “The Pepe’s generosity, especially when it comes helping people fighting cancer, is unwavering. The generosity of their gift will impact patients for years to come.”

If you are interested in making a gift to help us live out our Mission to serve with the greatest care and love, contact Ryan Duvall, OSF HealthCare Foundation director of development, at (815) 395-5514 or visit: https://www.osfhealthcarefoundation.org/