For Jackie Montag, her passion for children’s healthcare stems from a personal experience. She remembers well her time at Egleston Children’s Hospital when her son Ned was admitted for a minor procedure. At the time, the hospital was just a 100-bed facility but offered the same level of compassion and care it does today, she says. “I was so impressed at how they treated the families with respect and how they went beyond medical or technical knowledge but served the whole child and family.”
So touched by that experience, Jackie wanted to give back to the place that gave to others so much. Eventually, she would serve on both the Egleston and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta boards and devote herself to championing for their work. “If we don’t have healthy children, we don’t have a healthy future. It’s very important for me to give back because I’ve been given so much,” she says. “I enjoy being a part of such worthwhile organizations. You feel so rewarded when you see the positive changes you’ve been able to make though giving.”
Jackie recognizes the importance of strong management and operations of a healthcare institution. She also knows another critical piece to doing business – compassion. “You can find many organizations that are well run but you don’t always find the heart. These hospitals have to make tough decisions and deal with tough situations every day,” she says. When you look at the millions of dollars in indigent care Children’s Healthcare gives and the personal approach they take in their work, you feel like they treat each patient just as they would their own child.
“Life has handed some of these children such hard circumstances. Many recover and rebound but many don’t. If I can help in any way to make things better, it gives me great pleasure to do so. You can give money to support the work of these organizations, but you can also give your time. In fact, lots of people can give money but only you can give your time. It’s your unique contribution that’s needed just as much. It could be volunteering directly at the nonprofit, collecting things in need or encouraging others to give,” she says.
“I remember during my son’s recovery at home we wanted to do an activity that would bring the family together. We went to the local Goodwill, which was working with a company to package pieces for the game Monopoly. We ended up repackaging play money as a volunteer project,” she says. “My kids saw the importance of doing something for others, and the fulfillment that comes when you give. Those values have stayed with them through adulthood.”
Jackie says her upbringing and her faith have contributed to her sense of community and the importance of philanthropy and generosity in her life. In addition to serving in leadership roles throughout Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, she has been actively involved with The Temple, Skyland Trail, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Girls School, Westminster Schools Parents Council, Visiting Nurse Association, United Way and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.