40 Under 40

Kelly A. Chando

St. Luke's University Health Network
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • Kelly secured $2.6 million to date for the Sacred Heart Campaign, supporting St. Luke’s Sacred Heart, even while on maternity leave for three months of the campaign timeline
  • She has held multiple volunteer leadership roles in her community, including serving on the Board of Governors of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, co-chairing the 2019 American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, and serving as co-chair of the Lehigh Valley Women’s Summit from 2016-2018
  • Kelly secured a first-time $250,000 challenge match to accelerate the growth of St. Luke’s dental program, providing quality, affordable care for underprivileged community members

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

I spent close to a decade doing major gift work at United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley where I became increasingly aware of the myriad of significant needs our local children and families face. I knew that I wanted to do more to help families succeed, and after an alarming health scare of my own, I was on the receiving end of a life-saving experience that fueled my desire to serve our community in a different capacity. I started my career in healthcare philanthropy at St. Luke’s University Health Network three years ago and feel humbled to do work that advances access to quality, affordable healthcare in our region. 

2. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

Being new to healthcare, I was and continue to be a curious learner. A pivotal point in my career was when I was able to link the complex financial landscape of healthcare to my work in philanthropy. This deeper understanding of network operations strengthened my ability to articulate the impact philanthropy has on advancing the health of people in the communities we serve. It has enabled me to connect members of the community to meaningful investment opportunities that will transform care for our patients at every stage of life and preserve a tradition of healthcare excellence for many years to come.

3. What piece of advice would you give aspiring 40 Under 40 recipients?

Healthcare philanthropy is a rewarding and inspiring career with endless opportunities to learn and grow. While the world has changed dramatically, philanthropy remains a significant conduit for effecting change. Over the last 18 months, I have witnessed an overwhelming amount of generosity in our community and across the world. My hope is that we never lose that giving spirit and desire to support one another. My advice is to do this work with your whole heart–connect with people, listen closely for what inspires them, and invite them to be a part of something much bigger than themselves. When you can connect an individual’s passion to the needs of your patients, the impact is exponential.   

Fun Fact:

I’m a proud parent of two sweet boys, Cael (4) and Austin (6 months). Over the past two years, I’ve learned more about superheroes and construction vehicles than I ever thought imaginable. I know the name of every Avenger, can recite the “Little Blue Truck” series from memory, and have a newfound appreciation for LEGOs. They occupy me (and my little men) for hours! For now, I’m expected to respond to “Ironman” rather than “Mommy.” And though that may change with time, I’m inspired to live my life in a way that they’ll always look at me as their superhero.