A pledge to help

(L-R) Ellis Tudzin, foundation trustee; Paula Hern, foundation chair and daughter of John Hern; Glenn Halff, M.D., director of the University Transplant Center; Tom Barbour, foundation trustee and husband of Paula Hern; and Jennifer Milton, M.B.A., B.S.N., CCTC, administrative director and clinical assistant professor of the University Transplant Center.

(L-R) Ellis Tudzin, foundation trustee; Paula Hern, foundation chair and daughter of John Hern; Glenn Halff, M.D., director of the University Transplant Center; Tom Barbour, foundation trustee and husband of Paula Hern; and Jennifer Milton, M.B.A., B.S.N., CCTC, administrative director and clinical assistant professor of the University Transplant Center.

The Houston-based JLH Foundation has made a pledge of $356,415 to the University Transplant Center, a partnership of the Health Science Center and the University Health System.

Foundation funds will be used to support the personal needs of transplant recipients and their families, foundation officials said. The foundation was created to honor the memory of John L. Hern, a Houston businessman who in the late 1990s was hospitalized for 252 days awaiting a heart transplant.

During his hospital stay, Hern met and befriended patients who were waiting for transplants or who had just received transplants. He realized that many could not afford the associated costs, such as transportation, temporary lodging, restaurant meals, parking, co-pays and costly prescription drugs. He decided to help.

While he did undergo successful transplant surgery in December 1996, Hern died the following October after anti-rejection drugs failed. But his desire to financially assist transplant patients was realized shortly thereafter with the establishment of the JLH Foundation, funded by profits from companies he owned.

Over the years, the foundation has established relationships with several nonprofit transplant entities and initiated donor awareness programs, primarily in the Houston area.

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