In 1975, a group of prominent businessmen and medical professionals from the Champaign-Urbana region came together to create change. In forming the Charles W. Christie Foundation, their aim was to create an organization to sponsor medical education and research and increase knowledge and information regarding health services for the benefit of practitioners and the general public.
The Foundation was named after Dr. Charles W. Christie, who began practicing medicine and surgery in Champaign in 1924. He and his brothers, Dr. John B. Christie and Dr. James M. Christie, co-founded Christie Clinic in 1929. Brother Thomas Christie was an x-ray technician at the Clinic.
The Reverend Malcomb Nygren served as the first President of the Foundation. Dr. Michael J. Russo also served on the original board of directors. Today his son, John Russo, serves on that same board 35 years later.
The first grant issued by the Foundation was made possible through gifts by Christie Clinic associates. It provided $2,000 to the former Mercy Hospital to support its tumor registry program.
Today the Charles W. Christie family still has close ties to the Foundation. Charles W. Christie is survived by one of two daughters: Mary Ellen Christie Hoss of Champaign. Joan Christie Moore of Savannah, Georgia passed away in 2011 and a nursing scholarship was established to honor her life and legacy. When Mary Ellen’s husband of 59 years, Albert Hoss, passed in 2009, the Foundation was honored to be the recipient of many donations in his memory.
“We all have such special memories of our grandfather, C. W. Christie – we called him Didi. We are so pleased to play just a small part, by helping with gifts to the Foundation,” report Joan Christie Moore’s children Bob, Lora, Jerry, and Ellen Moore. “Thank you for the chance to recognize our mother Joanie, our Aunt Mary Ellen, and most of all the members of the nursing community.”