Holiday Angels: Art Ablin

The Examiner celebrates people who made a difference in 2006

Occupation: Retired Pediatric Oncologist/Professor Emeritus at UCSF

Residence: San Francisco

What he does: Ablin was one of the founders of Family House, a nonprofit organization that provides free housing and basic needs for the families of seriously ill young patients. In 1981, Ablin and others raised nearly $500,000 to buy housing from the Mormon Church that sat adjacent to the UCSF hospital, with the intention of providing housing for patients’ families.

Why he does it: In the 1980s, Ablin noticed that many of his young patients’ family members would be sleeping on the hospital grounds, unable to pay for a hotel or other expenses incurred from a trip to the hospital. “Family House was set up as cost-free place for families to stay, but also as a center based very much on communal experience, so these families could share with each other what they were going through,” Ablin said.

The impact: Because of his involvement in the project, Ablin, along with his wife, Debbie, has ensured that families will always have a home to turn to when patients need medical attention in San Francisco.

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