Kim Duchossois: President, Duchossois Family Foundation

When three generations of a family unite in purpose, great things can happen.

For the Duchossois family, who own a conglomeration of businesses based in Elmhurst, the desire to make a difference is embodied in their family’s foundation, which is headed by Kim Duchossois.

“My father and brother asked me to take this on,” she says. She convened a family retreat with three generations and an outside facilitator to shape the foundation’s mission and best decide how they could make an impact.

Kim’s mother died of cancer in 1980, so the family embraced cancer research and patient advocacy as one cause they wanted to support.

“We have a partnership with the University of Chicago to research metastatic cancer,” Kim says.

Beverly Duchossois was a patient at the University of Chicago Medical Center and in her honor, the family provided $21 million to build the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. We wanted to do something significant and transformational,” Kim says.

The family also donated $10 million to sponsor the creation of the American Cancer Society Patient Navigation Services, a nationwide program that serves millions of cancer patients who need guidance and support.

“We wanted to do something significant and transformational,” Kim says. “And we hope to continue these partnerships into the next generation.”

Part of that next generation is Kim’s niece Ashley Joyce, who established the family’s relationship with Metropolitan Family Services.

“The relationships you build and the people you’re exposed to—it’s a gift,” Kim says. “It’s wealth that comes back emotionally when you get involved in a cause you believe in.”

Editor’s Note:

The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the American Cancer Society. It is presented to those persons who have made the most outstanding and valuable contributions in basic research, clinical research, and cancer control. The Duchossois Family Foundation will receive the Medal of Honor for Philanthropy on November 10, 2011 in Alanta.

Kim Duchossois and her family are receiving the award because of their instrumental assistance in the development and support to help the American Cancer Society establish a statewide support network for those with cancer, called ACS’s Patient Navigation Services (PNS).

The value of PNS, a comprehensive, systems approach to integrated services, resources and follow-up case management provided via phone, internet, local ACS offices and, most importantly, medical centers where patients receive their care spoke to Kim’s vision and passion. She believed deeply in building the infrastructure for a high quality, high touch model of hands-on, compassionate support delivered by navigators who would listen to each patient’s concerns and draw together the resources needed to reduce stress, remove barriers and empower patients to engage fully in their healing. Kim readily accepted the invitation to become a thought leader for ACS’s Patient Navigation Services.