Ronnie Footlick leaves a legacy at LifeBridge

(Courtesy of LifeBridge Health)

Ronnie Borow Footlick’s 40-year relationship with Sinai Hospital began soon after Leslie, the eldest of her two daughters, was born.

As a newborn, Leslie had come down with an illness, and she was hospitalized for four months. During this time, Footlick “fell in love with [Leslie’s] caregivers and the practice of critical care medicine,” she said in an email, a passion that led her to becoming more and more involved at Sinai and eventually to work on the very committee that would form the entire LifeBridge Health system.

Originally from Philadelphia, Footlick’s family moved to the Baltimore area when she was 10. She would return to Philadelphia to see her extended family on Jewish holidays, though she noted that her family were cultural Jews, and not overly religious.

Footlick graduated from the University of Maryland, receiving a degree in history with honors.

She married her late husband Robert in a service at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and found employment as a social worker for Baltimore County Social Services while he finished law school. She was later recruited into the family business, Bond Distributing Company, a beverage distributor, where she established its human resources department. The business is currently in its 72nd year, and is led by her two daughters, Randi, as its president, and Leslie, as its vice president.

Footlick has also spent over four decades working with The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, serving as a fundraiser and a lay leader, she said. She has worked on the Lion of Judah Endowment campaign and has chaired both the Women’s Campaign and the Planned Giving and Endowment.

“Nothing is more important to me than working to secure the future of Jewish Baltimore for our grandchildren because we have been so fortunate to have had leadership for the last 100 years enabling Jewish Baltimore to thrive even during challenging times,” Footlick said. “But the future can only be bright if all of us do our part and we therefore now need to encourage the younger generation to join us to do the work that needs to be done by joining any of the agencies or activities of the Associated system.”

After the birth of her daughter, Leslie, and seeing firsthand the efforts of Sinai Hospital’s staff to care for her daughter, Footlick felt inspired to attend nursing school at Baltimore City Community College, and to participate in the many volunteer opportunities at Sinai, starting in the OB-GYN clinic. Her talents and contributions eventually led to her becoming the chair of the Sinai Hospital board, which gave her the opportunity to develop programs, provide oversight and lay leadership and reach out to the community. In time, she would even have a hand in the creation of LifeBridge Health, a health care organization that consists of Sinai and other hospitals.

“Sinai and LifeBridge have given me so much more gratification than I could ever have imagined while also educating me in the challenges and opportunities in healthcare today,” Footlick said. “I am so immensely proud of the work we do caring for the most vulnerable among us.”

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