Pictured Above: James “Jim” Bowers, retired lawyer, member of Hartford HealthCare’s Research Committee, and longtime supporter of Hartford Hospital.

Before deciding on a career in law, James “Jim” Bowers considered a career in medicine.

“My brother studied medicine and became a doctor—and I always wondered what it would have been like to be a physician, so I just have this natural interest in the medical field,” shares Bowers, a retired lawyer, member of Hartford HealthCare’s Research Committee, and longtime supporter of Hartford Hospital.

His interest in medicine eventually led him to stewardship at Hartford Hospital, where he first became a Corporator and later a member of the hospital’s Board of Governors. As a former law professor, Bowers always appreciated the value of research and sought an appointment to the hospital’s Research Committee. It’s a seat he has now held for 22 years.

“Research is the lifeblood of Hartford Hospital—it enhances the entire hospital program,” shares Bowers. “It’s designed to improve clinical programs and help us find new or novel approaches to the delivery of medicine.”

Bowers has been able to see and learn a tremendous amount through his years of service on the Research Committee—and he’s still learning and amazed by medical advancements even two decades later.

“I’ve learned so much and I’ve seen so many improvements in medical protocols, particularly in the area of mental health,” shares Bowers. “As the only non-clinical member, I feel as though I am a community representative on the committee, representing the medical laymen in the Hartford area. The doctors I work with are superb, they are top-notch practitioners. It’s been a really good association over the years.”

The Research Committee’s primary role is to allocate funds for medical research initiatives and Bowers estimates he has read close to 1,000 proposals throughout his tenure on the committee.

“Any incremental improvement we can make to improve people’s lives, I think is worth it,” says Bowers. That’s valuable and it’s worth the money spent on research.”

It’s that belief that led Bowers to create his philanthropic fund that supports research initiatives at Hartford Hospital.

“We should spend more on research and I thought by generating a research fund, I could get other donors to think about supporting research as well,” says Bowers. “Donors tend to think about specific diseases or departments they want to fund—research cuts across all departments. If you want to do something for the whole hospital, research is the place to do it.”

According to Bowers, it’s all about giving back and supporting the community.

“Very few institutions serve the entire community,” says Bowers. “Everybody goes to Hartford Hospital and it’s improved so many lives and neighborhoods—it’s been very fulfilling to contribute to an organization that has universal appeal and impact. I couldn’t be prouder to be a member of the research team that supports this organization.”

“Jim Bowers’ philanthropic investments have provided vital support for initiatives that have made Hartford Hospital one of the premier research institutions in the region,” said Lynn B. Rossini, VP of Philanthropy at Hartford Hospital. “We are grateful to Jim for sharing his story and promoting the importance of supporting medical research at Hartford Hospital.”