Children’s Health, the Dallas-based pediatric health care system, announced April 6 that Brent E. Christopher will become the new president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation, the fundraising arm of the health system, following the retirement of its current president, Kern Wildenthal. Christopher returns to Children’s Medical Center Foundation where he previously served as director of development from 2002 to 2005.
“We are delighted to welcome Brent Christopher back to Children’s Health,” said Christopher J. Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health. “We recognize the great acumen and leadership he brought to his role with Communities Foundation of Texas, and we look forward to his leadership within our organization.”
Since August 2005, Christopher served as president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), one of the leading community foundations in the country. Under Christopher’s leadership, CFT substantially increased its scale and effectiveness with assets growing from $647 million to a record-high $1.1 billion, making it one of the largest of nearly 800 such foundations across the country.
“We are grateful for Brent’s leadership, dedication and vision and what he has done to boost the power of philanthropy in our region through his tenure at CFT,” said Frank Risch, CFT board chair. CFT’s board has named trustee James E. Bass to chair its search committee that will identify a new president and CEO. In 2009, CFT initiated North Texas Giving Day, which last year reached a new milestone of raising $33.1 million on one day to benefit over 2,000 nonprofits in the North Texas region.
It has become the nation’s largest single day of community-wide giving and helped to encourage the development of online giving days across the United States.
“Serving the community through CFT has been an unbelievable, extraordinary privilege,” Christopher said. “I look forward to the next chapter of my career, and I am truly honored to rejoin the team at Children’s Health as I continue to work with donors and leaders throughout Dallas and North Texas.”
During the three years Wildenthal has served as president of the Foundation, philanthropic contributions totaled more than $150 million – a notable increase over the largest previous three-year total of $99 million.
Christopher will begin his term as president starting in July of 2016, when Dr. Wildenthal retires at age 75, after three years of service as the head of Children’s Medical Center Foundation and 40 years in leadership positions within the Southwestern Medical District.