Cincinnati’s P & G: Nurturing A Precious Legacy – A Bang Bao Story

I was for many years the Gamble Professor of Neonatology, or more precisely the David and Priscilla Gamble Professor. The eponymous names are descended from the original Gambles, of Procter and Gamble, “P and G,” fame, as one personal example of the legacy of this famous company. Mr. Procter & Mr. Gamble, the founders, and the company they established 150 years ago, have bequeathed noble legacies in many meaningful ways, through many people and institutions, down the ages. Especially in Cincinnati, USA, the city the founders settled in, by the banks of the Ohio river. And even in my own life journey.

The grandson of Mr. Procter, William Cooper Procter, was an Episcopalian Christian and a great philanthropist. He donated the major funding to start the Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which became the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a private, non-profit institution which has grown remarkably into a huge and famous institution of 15,000 employees. Including today, a top ranked Division of Neonatology, in which I served for many years. But what was particularly visionary, and highly unusual for the times, is that he also donated the funds to start the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, which grew from $2.5 million to reach a huge approximately $2 billion, over eight decades.

Photo 1: The original façade of the impressive Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, bearing the inscription of Jesus as the shepherd “binding the broken and strengthening the sick” of his sheep. An implicit founding drive.

Indeed, a major reason why Children’s Hospital Medical Center is so excellent and extremely famous all over the world is this remarkable Research Foundation, which strongly supports research and research investigators, focused only on children’s diseases. Especially important is that it provides significant support for many young investigators, directly and indirectly, who receive that extra boost and nurture in the early phases of their careers, in order to ultimately become established successful scientists. Definitely, my academic successes were highly related to this visionary approach, and not only am I grateful, many others have been blessed by the special opportunities provided. To this day, many of the Board members of the hospital and the foundation continue to be “P and G people,” who help to guide the institution to maintain its bearings in line with the original intent and ethos of the founding fathers. To keep the institution clearly focused on its mission, the legal chairman of the Board is actually the Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, and there is a stipulation that if the foundation strays from its mission, the church could legally reclaim the funds. Which is not that well known, and very interesting, to say the least.

The Gamble family (the G, of P and G), who were also Episcopalian Christians, set up Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, around the same time, which remains to this day as one of the leading private non-profit general hospitals of the city. In fact, it’s location is within minutes of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, both situated on “Pill Hill” in the University Heights area of Cincinnati. Thus unquestionably, the Procter & Gamble name is not only reputable in business, but also wonderfully impactful for medicine and health, in many different ways, for many generations.

Photos 2 & 3: The modern imposing newest research tower of Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

I wrote elsewhere that I was shocked, and touched, that my children’s hospital directors continued to be supportive of my first, and then second, early retirement, especially to begin a new medical mission in China, even as I relinquished my heavy leadership roles in the hospital. (See Uncle Reggie Stories: Jehovah Jireh, reggietales.org ). I was more used to a hard-nosed academic approach where, “what have you done for me, today?” was pervasive, so I was not expecting any particular hospital enthusiasm for a mission apparently unconnected with the it, providing “no direct benefit” to the hospital, and literally half way around the world.

In retrospect, especially now as I write this story, I’m pretty sure that the vision of the P and G forefathers in driving the establishment of the hospital and foundation, probably was subtly, even unconsciously, behind the scenes, setting the stage for my support. After all, if the purpose of the Foundation was to be for the betterment of children’s health, and the implicit mission of the hospital was to serve God and mankind, my beginning of the medical mission in China was likely quite a perfect fit. And so, in a deeper vein, I am now even more appreciative of what the founding fathers have wrought.

After I returned to Cincinnati from 10 years of medical mission in China, in 2004, we began a program of welcoming doctors and young professors from the major medical centers of China, to come for periods of 3 to 12 months of observation at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Quite naturally,” we entered into another historic relationship with Procter & Gamble, which became the major sponsor of the initial program. From the start, and for a decade, the company involvement was driven by a wonderful P and G “champion,” for the project, Dr Mauricio Odio.

Together with Drs. Ardythe Morrow (Children’s Hospital “champion”), and Tom Boat (Research Foundation Director) of the Children’s Hospital, we had the opportunity of touring major medical centers in China, to educate them about the unusual opportunity of scholarship awards for training at our hospital. A generous P and G awarded program financed nearly all the first scholarships, but ultimately the program morphed into a system whereby the sending China hospitals or provinces made most of the financial commitments. Step-by-step, the whole program blossomed, especially under the next enthusiastic leadership of the Research Foundation Director, Dr Arnie Strauss. At its peak, nearly 100 scholars would come yearly to visit our institution, from more than 10 major Children’s Hospitals from all over China, an astonishing number, unparalleled for both sending and receiving countries.

Initially, we had to find a good name for this program, understanding that “brands” are important, especially in China. We settled on a name as the “Bang Bao program.” The Pampers Brand of Procter & Gamble was the sponsor of the program, within P and G. In China, the Pampers Brand is known as 帮宝适品牌, or literally Bang Bao Shi Pin Pai in Chinese pinyin pronunciation, though no one actually uses this literal name to represent the Brand in English. So, we basically just deftly took the first two Chinese words, in pinyin, for our program, because the meaning seemed perfect. It means “bang, or helping” the “bao, or precious,” which could have many meanings, including helping precious talent, precious babies, and precious concepts. And it is a nurturing term, so it could mean nurturing talent, babies and concepts. What a good way to make the connection. And the term itself in English has an exotic sounding, even as it is easy to say and remember. Say “Bang Bao” and you will see what I mean!

It’s always good to have good connections! In traditional societies, especially China, connections form the basis of trust and most relationships. In my academic and mission involvement, I had developed many personal connections already in China, and those came in very handily when we approached the various hospitals. Chinese academic institutions in the decades since China opened up to the outside world in the 80/90‘s, have been particularly concerned that they connect with overseas institutions that have a strong heritage, or branding. And, for the Bang Bao program, it turned out that the joint heritage/ branding of P & G/ Cincinnati Children’s was brilliant.

Photos 4 & 5: The famous Procter and Gamble international headquarters in Cincinnati, visited by many scholars from China to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who may or may not realize the tremendous direct and indirect legacy of the company’s forbears to their professional skills and training.

The Procter & Gamble brand was clearly extremely well known, and among the most reputable foreign companies in China already at that time, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was regularly ranked among the top three best children’s hospitals in the USA. This institutional branding, coupled with personal connections within China, was truly a win-win situation, and gave assurance initially to China authorities that we were offering a highest quality effort. Ultimately, of course, we trust it would be truly a win-win situation for the many China institutions involved, and the babies and mothers of China. Indeed there are now wonderful connections and relationships all over China, portending a lasting legacy to follow.

Many of the greatest institutions of America were built on the foundation of Judeo-Christian ethics and morality, and many great men and women involved were people of faith. This legacy of faith based drive towards positive social contribution is an outstanding one, which we in the West often just take for granted. Sometimes people from Asia coming to the USA for the first time are perplexed when they see the evident depth of philanthropy and social consciousness, even from business corporations. Often in their home countries, the government is expected to run literally every major institution, while business is just there to “make money.” This sort of voluntary philanthropic “legacy” is rare, or not well established.

I have often remarked to Asian friends, that one of America’s real secrets is indeed the huge number of foundations set up as legacies for good purposes, run with fine reputation and integrity, allowing people to connect to good causes of their own free choice. I am convinced that the vision of those who bequeathed their legacies, like P and G, coupled with strong volunteerism (literally thousands at the Children’s Hospital) probably are why such enterprises are often organized with strong lasting commitment and enthusiasm. It is my personal hope that this foundational spirit could permeate Asia, and especially China, as a global legacy of true compassion and initiative.

曾叔叔讲故事:辛辛那提的宝洁:孕育珍贵的传承,帮宝项目的故事 (Dixia 翻译)

 好多年我一直是洁博 Gamble 新生儿科教授,更精确地说,是大卫和百居拉.洁博 David and Priscilla Gamble 教授。他们是宝洁(宝克特和洁博 Procter and Gamble, PG)公司的创立人之一洁博先生的后人。宝克特先生和洁博先生,以及他们于150年前创立的宝洁公司,籍由许多人和机构,在诸多方面留下了许多高贵的传承,尤其是在美国的辛辛那提,这个城市是当初西进者沿俄亥俄河而建的。宝洁的传承也在我的人生轨迹中留下了印记。

 宝克特先生的孙子,威廉.库伯.宝克特先生,是基督徒, 属于圣公会的,也是一个大慈善家。他捐赠了一大笔资金建立了圣公会教会医院,即后来的辛辛那提儿童医院。这个私立非盈利的机构已经发展成一个规模庞大,享誉世界的医院。目前有一万五千名雇员,有顶尖的新生儿科。我在该科效力许多年。但是真正显示威廉.库伯.宝克特先生的高瞻远瞩的是,他也捐钱成立了儿童医院研究基金,这在当时很不同寻常。在过去八十多年间,该基金已从最初的250万美元发展到将近20亿美元。

照片一,辛辛那提儿童医院的研究基金会的最初门脸,其上有耶稣作为牧羊人“缠裹受伤的,医治有病的”羊群。这是基金会成立的深层驱动力。

辛辛那提儿童医院医学中心之所以出类拔萃,享誉全球,其中一个重要原因是其卓越的研究基金致力于儿童疾病的研究,并给研究探索者提供了强有力的支持。尤为重要的是给大批年轻的研究人员提供至关重要的支持。这些年轻人在他们职业生涯之初就直接或间接地获得资助和培养,为最终成为成功有建树的科学家打下了良好的基础。毫无疑问,我个人学术上的成功和这前瞻性的思路密切相关。不仅我个人感恩,许多人亦因此得益。直到今天,儿童医院及基金会的董事会成员很多来自宝洁家族或宝洁公司的领导层。他们的参与确保这两个机构不离创始人的初衷和价值观。  为保障机构始终如一专注于其宗旨,董事会法律上的主席其实是俄亥俄州圣公会大主教,章程中规定一旦基金会偏离了其主旨,教会有权收回对基金的管理。这一条鲜为人知,但非常有意思。

宝洁公司名字中的洁家族也是属于圣公会的 基督徒,他们在同期建立了辛辛那提基督医院Christ Hospital.该医院至今仍是辛辛那提主要的私立非盈利的综合医院。其与儿童医院位于同一区域,相距几分钟路程,因此毋庸置疑,宝洁这名字不光在企业界受人尊敬,在医疗健康领域也有深远影响,通过各种途径造福了好多代人。

照片二,高高耸立的辛辛那提儿童医院研究基金会的最新研究大楼

 我曾经写过一篇文章,讲到我第一次和第二次从医院提前退休时,得到医院院长的支持,这让我很惊讶也很感动。尽管我放下医院里繁重的领导工作(具体参见曾叔叔讲故事:耶和华以勒,reggietales.org),医院的院长还是一样支持,尤其是支持我去中国开始新的医疗扶贫工作。多年的学术生涯中我已习惯“今天你为我做了什么”这样生硬的思路,所以我根本没有想到医院会对我去搞一个看起来与他们毫不相干的事工有任何热情,更何况这事工在地球的另一边,且看起来对儿童医院毫无益处。

 回头看看,尤其此刻我落笔写下这些文字的时候,我很肯定宝家族和洁家族的先父们在创立医院和基金会时的愿景,潜移默化地奠定了基础,使得医院顺理成章地支持我。毕竟,如果基金会的目的是增强儿童的健康,儿童医院的深层使命是事奉上帝和人类,那么我在中国开始的医疗扶贫事工正好与之相契合。由此,从更深层次上来说,现在的我更感谢那些创始人。

 在中国的事工服事了十年之后,我于2004年回到辛辛那提,并开始了一个项目,欢迎中国各大医学中心的医生和青年教师们来辛辛那提儿童医院作为期三到十二个月的访学。顺理成章地,我们与宝洁公司进行了又一次历史性的合作。宝洁成为这个交流项目初期的合作伙伴。从项目之初,宝洁在这个项目的参与由Dr Mauricio Odio主导,他在宝洁的领导层中是该项目的推动人,达十年之久。

最初,我主要是与Ardythe Morrow博士及Tom Boat医生共同推动此项目。Morrow博士是儿童医院指定的项目推动人,Boat医生是研究基金会主任。我们一起去中国拜访了主要的医疗中心,以知会他们这个难得的奖学金机会,可以派他们的人到我们医院进修。该项目首批访问学者几乎全部是由宝洁公司慷慨赞助的。以后这项目渐渐演化成主要由中国派遣单位负责主要费用。整个项目一步步发展,在继任的特别热心的研究基金会主任Arnie Strauss的领导下发展壮大。在巅峰时期,每年来自中国各地十几家主要儿童医院的近100名医生们在我们这儿访学。无论从派遣数量还是接受访学的人数,都史无前例。

 一开始我们想给这项目取个好名字,因为项目品牌很重要,尤其在中国。我们最后决定叫“帮宝项目”。宝洁的帮宝适Pampers品牌是该项目的合作伙伴。我们取其前两个字,“帮宝Bang Bao”,为项目名称,因为这两字的意思刚好合宜。“帮助,宝贵的”可以指宝贵的人才,宝贵的婴儿,宝贵的思路,等等,也可以指培养人才,培养宝宝,或孕育新思路。这正合意。在英文里,Bang Bao 这名字听起来有点异域风情,容易发音也容易记住。试着说一下“Bang Bao,帮宝”,你就知道了。

有人脉关系总是不错。在中国这样有很强传统的社会,人脉是建立信任,建立关系的基础。在我的学术生涯以及扶贫工作中,我已在中国建立了很多我个人的人脉。当我们去联系医院时,这些人脉关系就派上了用场。自从八九十年代中国开放以后,中国的学术机构特别强调与国外的有很强的传承或名牌的学术机构建立关系。所以,宝洁公司与辛辛那提儿童医院的历史传承和品牌效应,对“帮宝项目”而言,是最合适不过了。

照片三: 位于辛辛那提的宝洁全球总部, 在儿童医院访学的很多中国学者们都去参观过。他们或许没有意识到这家公司的先贤们留下的传承,直接或间接地对他们的职业技能和培训产生了巨大影响。

宝洁的品牌自然是享誉全球,当时在中国宝洁已被认可为最知名的外国公司,而辛辛那提儿童医院则一直是全美排名前三的儿童医院。这是机构的品牌,加上当时我在中国的人脉,这无疑是个双赢的局面,也让当时的中国当局可以肯定我们提供的是最高水准的合作。我们终究相信这对参与项目的中国众多的医院以及中国的母婴们都是双赢。事实上,现在我们在中国已经有了广泛的联系和人脉,相信这会形成一个经年不息的传承。

 美国许多最伟大的机构都植根于犹太教和基督教的伦理与道德规范。很多参与创立这些机构的是有信仰的人。这种基于信仰,鼓励人积极贡献社会,的传承是非常意义深远的,在西方我们司空见惯便以为理所当然。有些初次由亚洲来美的人看到慈善和社会良知在这儿深入人心,哪怕在商业领域也一样,他们就很困惑。在他们自己的国家,一般是由政府管理每个大机构,而公司的职责只是“挣钱”,象美国这种自发的慈善传承在他们的国家极为罕见,也很少有先例。

我经常对亚洲的朋友们说,美国的秘密之一就是大量的基金会。它们的设立是为一个美好的目的,并作为传承一直延续;它们的管理至诚守信,并且允许人们自由选择和哪一项善事挂钩。我深信,创始人捐赠财产时的愿景,就如宝洁那样,以及强大的义工队伍(儿童医院有成千上万的义工),导致了这些机构可以始终如一坚守初衷,热忱服务经年不衰。我个人希望,作为悲悯之心和主动关爱的普世传承,这些基本的精神可以普照亚洲,尤其是中国。

I was for many years the Gamble Professor of Neonatology, or more precisely the David and Priscilla Gamble Professor. The eponymous names are descended from the original Gambles, of Procter and Gamble, “P and G,” fame, as one personal example of the legacy of this famous company. Mr. Procter & Mr. Gamble, the founders, and the company they established 150 years ago, have bequeathed noble legacies in many meaningful ways, through many people and institutions, down the ages. Especially in Cincinnati, USA, the city the founders settled in, by the banks of the Ohio river. And even in my own life journey.

The grandson of Mr. Procter, William Cooper Procter, was an Episcopalian Christian and a great philanthropist. He donated the major funding to start the Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which became the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a private, non-profit institution which has grown remarkably into a huge and famous institution of 15,000 employees. Including today, a top ranked Division of Neonatology, in which I served for many years. But what was particularly visionary, and highly unusual for the times, is that he also donated the funds to start the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, which grew from $2.5 million to reach a huge approximately $2 billion, over eight decades.

Photo 1: The original façade of the impressive Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, bearing the inscription of Jesus as the shepherd “binding the broken and strengthening the sick” of his sheep. An implicit founding drive.

Indeed, a major reason why Children’s Hospital Medical Center is so excellent and extremely famous all over the world is this remarkable Research Foundation, which strongly supports research and research investigators, focused only on children’s diseases. Especially important is that it provides significant support for many young investigators, directly and indirectly, who receive that extra boost and nurture in the early phases of their careers, in order to ultimately become established successful scientists. Definitely, my academic successes were highly related to this visionary approach, and not only am I grateful, many others have been blessed by the special opportunities provided. To this day, many of the Board members of the hospital and the foundation continue to be “P and G people,” who help to guide the institution to maintain its bearings in line with the original intent and ethos of the founding fathers. To keep the institution clearly focused on its mission, the legal chairman of the Board is actually the Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, and there is a stipulation that if the foundation strays from its mission, the church could legally reclaim the funds. Which is not that well known, and very interesting, to say the least.

The Gamble family (the G, of P and G), who were also Episcopalian Christians, set up Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, around the same time, which remains to this day as one of the leading private non-profit general hospitals of the city. In fact, it’s location is within minutes of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, both situated on “Pill Hill” in the University Heights area of Cincinnati. Thus unquestionably, the Procter & Gamble name is not only reputable in business, but also wonderfully impactful for medicine and health, in many different ways, for many generations.

Photos 2 & 3: The modern imposing newest research tower of Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

I wrote elsewhere that I was shocked, and touched, that my children’s hospital directors continued to be supportive of my first, and then second, early retirement, especially to begin a new medical mission in China, even as I relinquished my heavy leadership roles in the hospital. (See Uncle Reggie Stories: Jehovah Jireh, reggietales.org ). I was more used to a hard-nosed academic approach where, “what have you done for me, today?” was pervasive, so I was not expecting any particular hospital enthusiasm for a mission apparently unconnected with the it, providing “no direct benefit” to the hospital, and literally half way around the world.

In retrospect, especially now as I write this story, I’m pretty sure that the vision of the P and G forefathers in driving the establishment of the hospital and foundation, probably was subtly, even unconsciously, behind the scenes, setting the stage for my support. After all, if the purpose of the Foundation was to be for the betterment of children’s health, and the implicit mission of the hospital was to serve God and mankind, my beginning of the medical mission in China was likely quite a perfect fit. And so, in a deeper vein, I am now even more appreciative of what the founding fathers have wrought.

After I returned to Cincinnati from 10 years of medical mission in China, in 2004, we began a program of welcoming doctors and young professors from the major medical centers of China, to come for periods of 3 to 12 months of observation at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Quite naturally,” we entered into another historic relationship with Procter & Gamble, which became the major sponsor of the initial program. From the start, and for a decade, the company involvement was driven by a wonderful P and G “champion,” for the project, Dr Mauricio Odio.

Together with Drs. Ardythe Morrow (Children’s Hospital “champion”), and Tom Boat (Research Foundation Director) of the Children’s Hospital, we had the opportunity of touring major medical centers in China, to educate them about the unusual opportunity of scholarship awards for training at our hospital. A generous P and G awarded program financed nearly all the first scholarships, but ultimately the program morphed into a system whereby the sending China hospitals or provinces made most of the financial commitments. Step-by-step, the whole program blossomed, especially under the next enthusiastic leadership of the Research Foundation Director, Dr Arnie Strauss. At its peak, nearly 100 scholars would come yearly to visit our institution, from more than 10 major Children’s Hospitals from all over China, an astonishing number, unparalleled for both sending and receiving countries.

Initially, we had to find a good name for this program, understanding that “brands” are important, especially in China. We settled on a name as the “Bang Bao program.” The Pampers Brand of Procter & Gamble was the sponsor of the program, within P and G. In China, the Pampers Brand is known as 帮宝适品牌, or literally Bang Bao Shi Pin Pai in Chinese pinyin pronunciation, though no one actually uses this literal name to represent the Brand in English. So, we basically just deftly took the first two Chinese words, in pinyin, for our program, because the meaning seemed perfect. It means “bang, or helping” the “bao, or precious,” which could have many meanings, including helping precious talent, precious babies, and precious concepts. And it is a nurturing term, so it could mean nurturing talent, babies and concepts. What a good way to make the connection. And the term itself in English has an exotic sounding, even as it is easy to say and remember. Say “Bang Bao” and you will see what I mean!

It’s always good to have good connections! In traditional societies, especially China, connections form the basis of trust and most relationships. In my academic and mission involvement, I had developed many personal connections already in China, and those came in very handily when we approached the various hospitals. Chinese academic institutions in the decades since China opened up to the outside world in the 80/90‘s, have been particularly concerned that they connect with overseas institutions that have a strong heritage, or branding. And, for the Bang Bao program, it turned out that the joint heritage/ branding of P & G/ Cincinnati Children’s was brilliant.

Photos 4 & 5: The famous Procter and Gamble international headquarters in Cincinnati, visited by many scholars from China to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who may or may not realize the tremendous direct and indirect legacy of the company’s forbears to their professional skills and training.

The Procter & Gamble brand was clearly extremely well known, and among the most reputable foreign companies in China already at that time, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was regularly ranked among the top three best children’s hospitals in the USA. This institutional branding, coupled with personal connections within China, was truly a win-win situation, and gave assurance initially to China authorities that we were offering a highest quality effort. Ultimately, of course, we trust it would be truly a win-win situation for the many China institutions involved, and the babies and mothers of China. Indeed there are now wonderful connections and relationships all over China, portending a lasting legacy to follow.

Many of the greatest institutions of America were built on the foundation of Judeo-Christian ethics and morality, and many great men and women involved were people of faith. This legacy of faith based drive towards positive social contribution is an outstanding one, which we in the West often just take for granted. Sometimes people from Asia coming to the USA for the first time are perplexed when they see the evident depth of philanthropy and social consciousness, even from business corporations. Often in their home countries, the government is expected to run literally every major institution, while business is just there to “make money.” This sort of voluntary philanthropic “legacy” is rare, or not well established.

I have often remarked to Asian friends, that one of America’s real secrets is indeed the huge number of foundations set up as legacies for good purposes, run with fine reputation and integrity, allowing people to connect to good causes of their own free choice. I am convinced that the vision of those who bequeathed their legacies, like P and G, coupled with strong volunteerism (literally thousands at the Children’s Hospital) probably are why such enterprises are often organized with strong lasting commitment and enthusiasm. It is my personal hope that this foundational spirit could permeate Asia, and especially China, as a global legacy of true compassion and initiative.

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