Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2001

Mission Statement

Realizing the healthcare crisis in our country, the Board of Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. recognizes that no one foundation can meet all the challenges of the healthcare environment. However, the Foundation has developed a program of grant making which is designed to be both a catalyst and guide for other foundations and grant making organizations in meeting the various needs of the Chicagoland healthcare community. The Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. grants funds in order to promote and maintain access to adequate healthcare for all people in the Chicagoland area regardless of race, sex, creed or financial need. The Foundation meets this goal through its grants for medical and nursing education, medical research and direct healthcare services.

As a guide to other foundations and other service providers and as a part of the Board’s stewardship of charitable funds, the Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. has developed a grant evaluation system to ensure that the objectives of various projects are carried out in the manner prescribed by the approved grant.

The Foundation wishes to impress on the philanthropic community that the careful evaluation of the outcomes of grant projects is as important as the appropriate selection of grant recipients.

President’s Message

Dr. Angelo P. Creticos
Dr. Angelo P. Creticos

Another Point of View The events of September 11, 2001 have caused us to express a variety of emotions, among which are a total anger and a desire for revenge, no matter how we attain it.

Fortunately, before we as a nation lost our control and good senses, cooler heads prevailed and although we have retaliated with force, we willed that this force be selective and properly applied.

A variety of reasons have been given to explain why we were attacked so blatantly. These have varied, from utterances by our enemies and by those who are envious, justifying the horrible actions by saying “deserved what we got, America needed to experience what we have done and do to others, America needed to feel the sense of emptiness and loss others have felt, America needed to feel first hand the ugliness and tortures of war in their own land, that American decadence earned for us this horrible wrath” – and so on.

We in turn have reviewed a mixed bag of our own emotions and try to explain these tragic acts on the basis that we are hated because of our affluence and comfortable way of life, that others are jealous of us, that our religious freedom is so free that another religion feels it must destroy this gift Americans enjoy and so on.

Although there is a semblance of truth that some of these views have been and are operative, and that there are many more theories about what happened, and although these may all be true to some extent, some of these simply explain the motives and the courses of action. However, there is another point of view I would like to explore and leave a thought for you to consider.

I wish to offer the following consideration. Possibly our actions generally as a nation are misinterpreted because we misinterpret the effects of our actions. In other words, we may need to look at ourselves and change how we develop and implement our aid efforts to people.

I present now a condensed version of a personal experience I had during the 1940’s wherein I participated in a project demonstrating how our government has given aid to nations and how that experience has caused me to reflect and conclude that the approach may have been wrong and needed revision.

Following Medical School I went on active duty with the U.S. Navy in July 1947 in order to serve my two year obligated duty as a physician. At that time President Harry Truman had signed the Truman Doctrine, which contained an aid package for Turkey and Greece. The amount was 300 million dollars – a sizeable amount for those times.

At the time Greece was in the throes of a civil war with the Communists fighting the Royalists, and it is fair to say that the Communists were winning most of the battles. As a result, much of the monies for Greece went into the war effort.

However, the entire mission was under the State Department. This included the Ambassador, the Army and Navy contingent we had there, as well as a large Public Health component, plus the Corps of Engineers. Each division of the mission was given a budget but, because we were designated a diplomatic force, the requirement was that we honor the sovereignty of the host nation and funnel our aid through the various ministries of that host nation.

It should be understood that all our military was advisory in function – no actual fighting. As a result, 85% of the 2,500 Army and Navy in Greece at the time were high ranking officers – all specialists in their fields. Since this was a diplomatic mission, all military personnel had to remove uniforms for civilian dress clothes whenever they were off duty. Thus, almost all military were civilians by 6:00 p.m. daily.

Administratively all decisions affecting the function of the Mission had to be approved by the Chief Administrative Officer of the Mission. This person was a Career State Department Officer and he was the final authority, even with our military. The problem with this was that the Greek government, with its corrupt ministries and military forces in disarray, needed strong guidance by our Mission – and this came in mixed signals to the Greeks. Our experts were forced to work with poorly qualified leadership – and all we did was to fuel the disarray that plagued the entire Greek government in its dealing with the civil war.

Fortunately, a change of command took place wherein General Van Fleet was assigned to Greece to head the U.S. Army contingent. Almost immediately, General Van Fleet realized the set-up was wrong for waging and winning a war. He quickly brought in four additional Generals, made himself the Chief of the entire Mission (he was a force no one could tangle with) and literally converted the ambassador’s part, as well as that of the Mission administrator, into impotent figure heads.

General Van Fleet exerted extreme pressure on the entire Greek military and their command and mapped out strategy and battle plans for them. He literally ignored the Department of State. Almost immediately the tide of battle quickly changed, a more defined Greek Army command emerged and the Royalists began fighting with wisdom and daring so that battle after battle was won. In approximately nine months, General Van Fleet succeeded in securing the surrender of the Communists.

What started as a State Department directed war was finally converted by a strong military leader into a military success.

The question can be raised – did that lesson teach our government anything? The unfortunately obvious answer came with the Vietnam War, where once again the Department of State officially ran a war. The repercussions and problems generated by that misuse is known to all of you. Fortunately, our present war seems to be directed by the military, with a strong leadership in the Department of Defense. It is also fortunate that in the Department of State in our present war is a distinguished retired Army General. It is anticipated that we are dealing with our present problem satisfactorily.

The second observation gained by my duty in Greece that I want to share with you is a vignette that reflects on the effect that we as a government had on the populace.

In the Mission I served as the #2 medical officer and my duties were varied. One of my duties was the custodian of a 12 million dollar budget for the Greek Navy medical needs – and to carry out these duties I was assigned the title of Logistics Medical Officer with the Greek Navy. That in itself was a big joke!

My function was to procure medical supplies for the Greek Navy, bring in up to date medical equipment and medical tests and select Navy physicians for training in the USA, for one to two years postgraduate training, in order to bring a core of physicians up to a plausible efficiency level. You must remember Greece had been occupied for seven years by the Nazi’s and its professional care literally was shut out from the rest of the world and its scientific progress.

In all honesty, I could not spend all the money allocated for this work so that I had money left over every month, and every month I was admonished about the “good news” by the State Department officials, who commanded I spend the money so they would not be embarrassed by their superiors in Washington. Their concern was that as career officers they could make no budget mistakes and they wanted me to prove their estimates were correct. I was just as adamant that I would not spend the money – and I was fortunate that my Admiral gave me 100% support.

As I mentioned earlier, by 6:00 p.m. each day we had to revert to civilian clothing. Being of Greek descent and speaking Greek fairly well at the time, I was able to frequent Greek restaurants and other public places, such as the theater, music concerts, etc., where I was able to mix with the locals and blend in with them – and actually listen to them as they expressed themselves to each other about America’s presence.

This opportunity allowed me ample time to learn what the man on the street thought, and I must tell you, as an American of Greek heritage, I felt both embarrassed and bitter. However, I retreated to my apartment and began to reflect on what I heard and I realized I was privy to emotions, anger and thoughts that those in command would not hear.

Simply put, the flow of thoughts dealt with such statements as “who do the Americans think they are”, “who are they trying to fool”, “don’t the Americans realize that the people never see any of the money that America entrusts to the crooked ministries”, don’t the Americans realize that bringing powdered eggs to us is not a delicacy we cherish and none of us will eat”, “why are the Americans such poor administrators and why are they perpetuating our misery”, and so on. What most of the people wanted was for America to take charge and clean house for them.

As I heard these statements and others night after night, I came to the conclusion that some of the criticism might be right – and I wondered, what could I do? My suspicion that we could do better was heavily enforced when I went to the Mission administrator to request that some of the excess money I was returning be put into effective use. I suggested that the Mission establish a loan program with physicians and business people wherein the U.S. would lend up to $1,000 to a given responsible individual, charging 2% interest, and establishing a repay schedule over a 20-year period. I was refused flatly and told to mind my own business.

My proposal was prompted by the fact that physicians, as well as important merchants (such as bakers, grocers, etc.), were so poor that they could not afford to have essentials of their trade. For example, it was a rare physician who owned a stethoscope. As a result, 10 to 15 physicians would line up at a hospital to take turns using the one stethoscope that was available to them. Many had to double or triple share a single room office which was barren and often without any useable equipment. One can say Washington Square would have been a savior if it was there!

In my discussions with the Mission administrator, my request continued to fall on deaf ears. Finally, in disgust, I advised him that neither he nor any of his career diplomats could appreciate a primary human characteristic that is a basic fiber of all people – namely, the “Pride of People”. He and his associates were in effect destroying a people’s Pride and, in so doing, especially as representatives of our government, they were earning disrespect for all they stood.

By destroying pride, no amount of our giving and gifts would be acceptable. We cannot buy love and respect – we must earn it and we do this by respecting those we hope to help.

I tried in vain to convince these diplomats that a handout is not what people wanted. They wanted an opportunity to put their talent and efforts to work and an opportunity to repay a generosity. I pointed out to our “esteemed” diplomats that to make people subservient would not make people our friends. Respecting one’s pride and enhancing that pride with opportunity brings about a thankful recipient whose dignity and independence has been honored and guaranteed. All this would result in respect for any kind acts we would have to do.

The questions continue to haunt me – have we learned our lessons from the past and are we approaching people and nations from a different focus? Are we mindful of their pride and do we understand their need for dignity?

How and in what way have the warped minds and our mistakes about the human equation turned those mistakes as weapons against us? Warped minds look for such defects. Those of us with more sanity need to plug these holes to beat them at their game.

I offer these observations for contemplation, believing some solution can result if we examine our involvement in world governance and realize that what the common man thinks and experiences does have a great deal to do with any harmony mankind may experience. Ignoring, or having your actions perceived as a destruction of dignity and pride of all people, will guarantee unrest in this world now and in the future.

Statement of Activities

Year ended September 30, 2001  
Grants & Program Related Investments (PRI) $ 1,172,282
General Administrative Expense 448,248
Professional Investment & Custodial fees 144,980
Provision for federal excise tax (9,138)
Unrestricted Net Assets $24,169,105*
*Partially as a result of the September 11, 2001 “Terror attack”, the foundation’sassets were severely impacted as of the close of its fiscal year (September 30, 2001), by a decrease of over $7 million for the 2000-2001 fiscal year.The official and complete audit as certified by KPMG Peat MarwickDownload PDF.


Fiscal Year 2000-01 Grant Recipients

AIDS Pastoral Care Network Lake County Council Against Sexual Assault (LACASA)
Angelo P. Creticos, M.D. Visiting Professorship of the Department of Medicine
Fund at the North Side Health Network
Lake Forest Hospital
Asthmatic Children’s Aid Sylvia Golden Memorial Chapter Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Casa Central Maryville City of Youth
Catholic Health Partners Foundation Mercy Hospital and Medical Center
Center for Enriched Living Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation
Chicago Hearing Society North Park Friendship Center
Chicago House and Social Service Agency North Side Community Health Resource Facility
Chicago Society of Internal Medicine Norwegian American Hospital, Inc.
Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois Palliative Care Center & Hospice of the North Shore
Clearbrook Center Project Seed of Suburban Chicago, Inc.
Cook County Hospital Respite House, Inc.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Rush North Shore Medical Center
Council on Foundations Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center
Dental Residency Programat Advocate North Side Health Network Salk Institute
Donors Forum of Chicago Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
Dr. Angelo P. Creticos Cancer Centerat Illinois Masonic Medical Center Shanti Project, Inc.
Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago, Inc. St. Basil’s Health Service – Free People’s Clinic
Esperanza Community Services The Children’s Place Association
Eye Center Researchat Illinois Masonic Medical Center Thresholds
Grantmakers In Health University of Illinois College of Nursing
Greek American Nursing Home Committee
La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Research Center