Susan Lindheim, MD

Pediatrics, East Bay Area

Allen Fischer Local Employee Assistance Fund

“Allen Fischer expressed his admiration and gratitude for the people who worked at Richmond. Even when we knew he was dying, he felt good that I had another family — at the medical center.”

The Local Employee Assistance Fund (LEAF) was created by Richmond administrators in 1988 to provide confidential support and money to employees and volunteers during financial hardship. With funds raised primarily from yard sales and bake sales, LEAF’s ability to help was limited.

Recognizing the potential for helping her Richmond “family,” Dr. Lindheim in 2001 served on the LEAF Committee. In 2002, 14 years after receiving a heart transplant, Dr. Lindheim’s husband, Allen Fischer, died.

Dr. Lindheim started an annual tradition – making a donation to LEAF in her husband’s memory, and requesting contributions from physicians and others. Since implementing this successful fund-raising approach, the Fund has helped more than 150 employees. Dr. Lindheim is working to expand the program to Oakland, and is advocating for its spread to facilities regionwide.