Through the Generations: Vital Support for Lankenau’s Mission

Donor Spotlight
Medical Research

For Louise and Peter Havens, their connection and lifelong love of Lankenau may be traced back further than each of their own lives.

Longtime residents and philanthropic supporters of the community, Louise Havens, her mother, Mary L. Smith, and her late step-father, Bill Smith, received their care at Lankenau. In addition to receiving care here, Mary is a significant benefactor to Lankenau and is a former Trustee of the Lankenau Foundation board. Louise, a graduate of Villanova University, is the medical grant administrator of the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust. In her role, Louise has overseen and directed tens of millions of dollars to support medical research, including significant investments at Lankenau Medical Center and LIMR.

Most notable of these gifts was a donation of $625,000 in 2013 to create a fund to be a bridge of support in the advancement of many pioneering new therapies and tests at various stages of development within LIMR. This fund has allowed LIMR to continue to push ahead and make advancements, even during times of economic and philanthropic uncertainty, where other organizations have had to pull back on such initiatives. In addition to her role at the trust, Louise is the trustee of the Louise A. Havens Foundation for Diabetes Research and Treatment, which has also provided significant support to LIMR. Peter’s connection goes back several generations, as his great-grandfather, Hermann Hessenbruch, was president of Lankenau from 1901 to 1913 following the passing of John D. Lankenau as president. Peter’s grandmother, Florence Dreer Hessenbruch, was the first president of the Women’s Board, as well as the founder of the Deaver Auxiliary and the Gift Shop at Lankenau. Peter’s father, W. Paul Havens, MD, trained at Lankenau and, with an interest in viral hepatitis and cirrhosis, went on to become a prominent medical professor at Thomas Jefferson University.

Peter, with an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia, founded Baldwin Management in 1999 after serving as a member of the Board of Directors and executive vice president of the Bryn Mawr Trust Co. His leadership roles within Lankenau and Main Line Health are many: He serves as a Lankenau Medical Center Foundation Trustee, vice chairman of the Main Line Health Board of Governors, and chairman of LIMR’s Board of Trustees.

Louise and Peter funded an endowed chair with a $1 million commitment to create the Havens Chair for Biomedical Research, held by LIMR President and CEO George Prendergast, PhD. In addition to the Havens Chair, they also created the Mary L. Smith Endowed Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care with an additional $1 million gift. This chair, held by Donald D. Peterson, MD, was created by the Havens family, including Peter, Louise, Robert, Vicki and Serter in honor of Mary L. Smith. Both of these endowed chair gifts utilized the Lankenau Medical Center Foundation’s matching program for approved gifts of $1 million or more to meet the $2 million endowed chair threshold.

When family ties to Lankenau are as strong as they are for Peter and Louise, it is hard to overstate their crucial role in making Lankenau Medical Center and LIMR world-class destinations for clinical care, research and education. In many ways it could be argued that their leadership and engagement have been as impactful to Lankenau as the contributions made by their distinguished forebears.