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Herman Silverman, 1920-2017

Foundation News |
Categories: Giving
Silverman, Donor Story

A tribute to a philanthropist, entrepreneur and leading citizen

Doylestown Health joins the entire community in mourning the passing of Herman Silverman on May 31 while remembering his profound generosity and accomplishments.

Mr. Silverman had a special gift for entrepreneurship and he shared his success as a life-long philanthropist. Doylestown Hospital – and Doylestown Health in recent years – was a particular beneficiary of his genius, along with arts and cultural institutions.

Mr. Silverman's idea to form the $100 Heart Club at Doylestown Hospital in 1978, like all of his enterprises, had a multiplying effect. The annual luncheon club he founded to advance cardiac care ultimately became Friends of the Heart Institute, which just this year was recognized as the leading volunteer fundraising organization in the U.S. by the American Hospital Association. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, Friends has raised more than $2 million to continue Mr. Silverman's legacy.

Similarly, Mr. Silverman, along with his first wife, Ann, joined the hospital and physicians in founding the Free Clinic of Doylestown in 1994. The clinic was renamed the Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic in recent years as a tribute to the late Mrs. Silverman after Mr. Silverman and his family made an endowment gift to ensure the clinic's future.

His philanthropy extended to other areas of Doylestown Health with gifts to help build the new Emergency Department and the Della-Penna Pediatric Center.

Mr. Silverman graduated from the National Farm School (now Delaware Valley University) in 1940 and went on to become president of the university. He worked as a farmer, served in the U.S. Army during World War II and founded a landscaping company with his brother, Ira that became the enormously successful Sylvan Pools. He was a founder of the James A. Michener Art Museum along with his close friend, the namesake author. Before Bucks County had an art museum, Mr. Silverman helped establish the Bucks County Artmobile to tour the area with works by regional artists.

"Herman Silverman was engaging, perceptive and motivated to excel and lead others to excellence," said Jim Brexler, President and CEO of Doylestown Health. "He grew up in challenging economic times, was a self-made man and dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. He was also a gifted raconteur and often entertained crowds gathered for any occasion with his insightful stories, many of them humorous."

"Doylestown Health relies on many donors to achieve and maintain our successes. Mr. Silverman was a particularly exemplary donor during his four decades of dedication to improving the health and wellness of our community."

Make a Tribute Gift in Memory of Herman Silverman

The Silverman Family is inviting donations to be made in Herman’s memory to these charities that were near to Herman's heart: The Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic of Doylestown or Friends of The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital. Gifts can be made online or sent to Doylestown Health Foundation at 595 W. State St., Doylestown, PA 18901.

About Doylestown Health Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of Doylestown Health, Doylestown Health Foundation raises funds to safeguard the future of excellence in patient care and to improve the quality of life for all members of the community. Philanthropic support of an ambitious comprehensive campaign, ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health, is transforming the delivery of superior healthcare in our community, both in new and expanded facilities, and through advancements in cutting-edge programs and state-of-the-art technologies. Contributions also support bold investments in innovative treatments, process improvements, and community resources to enhance the patient experience well into Doylestown Health's second century of healthcare excellence.

For more information, visit or call 215.345.2009.

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