2016 Honored Saint
Joining the past prestigious line-up of philanthropists are:
David Irion, Visionary– 2016 Honored SAINT
Visionary, as an adjective means: Characterized by vision or foresight. As a noun: One who is given to impractical or speculative ideas; a dreamer.
Visionary and dreamer, David Irion, joined St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation as its President and CEO in 2001 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2015. During his 14 year tenure he embraced philanthropy and the ideal that philanthropy, the love of humanity, could profoundly change an organization – and the donor alike. He often shared his belief that in life there existed a spiritual coupling of needs with those who have the desire to fulfill those needs. With the biblical belief of “ask and ye shall receive,” David dreamed of and consequently shared a vision that critically sick and injured children in our region would receive care close to home.
SVH held steadfast to this dream and, on the shoulders of philanthropic investors who shared his vision – to keep families and patients together during times of medical crisis -- St. Vincent Children’s Healthcare was created which included the SV Pediatric Specialty Clinic and Montana and Wyoming’s only 24/7 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Today, the earnings from a $20 million Pediatric Greatest Needs Endowment help cover operating expenses of SV Children’s Healthcare. More importantly, the number of pediatric patients transferred to out-of-state hospitals reduced from 400 in 2008 to just 41 in 2015.
David, along with his wife Susan, are philanthropists notable by their presence as one of SVH’s top 50 individual donors to the causes they care about at St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation. Volumes could be written about David’s dedication to the Billings community through the Billings Public Schools and Billings Chamber of Commerce. He is a profound champion of children and his vision and able support have lifted many organizations in our community. We are honored to recognize David Irion, who exemplifies a love of humanity as our Honored SAINT of 2016.