Miller earns Philanthropic Award

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 5, 2016

The 2016 Wilson L. Smith Philanthropic Award recipient, Xzantippa “Tippie” Miller, was announced at the Novant Health Rowan Medical Center donor appreciation reception on Thursday in the Peeler-Crystal Lounge at Catawba College.

Each year, Novant Health Foundation Rowan Medical Center hosts an appreciation dinner to recognize a deserving member of the community who has shown exceptional support of the foundation and to the health of the community.

Having lived in Rowan County for more than 60 years, Miller’s community service goes back to almost as many years. She was a volunteer at Rowan Memorial Hospital (predecessor to Rowan Medical Center) for about 40 years and was heavily involved in many projects. In the mid-1960s, she raised money for Rowan Vocational Opportunities, a center for the mentally and physically challenged. Most recently, Miller helped raise money for Rowan Helping Ministries to build its new homeless shelter.

Miller has several plaques that have been presented to her over the years for her volunteer work. She has even been honored by N.C. governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin. In addition to her local work, she served on the North Carolina board of the American Cancer Society for 15 years, including time served as national coordinator for its comprehensive school-health efforts.

The cause that has occupied Miller’s heart and energy for the last 30 years has been her desire to give Rowan County its first free-standing hospice house. In May 2013, her dream came true when the 14-bed, $6 million Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House opened its doors.

“It’s not what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do,” said Miller. “If you’re going to live in a community, you need to give to the community what you expect to get back.”

“The best honor I have is driving up Long Street and knowing that there is no child that will have no bed to sleep in if they have no home, and the same thing with the hospice house,” said Miller. “When I drive by the hospice house, I know the people in there are being cared for and will die peacefully and with dignity. Those are my honors.”

“I can honestly say that I have never met a person more dedicated and committed to helping others in the community without ever expecting anything in return,” said Rick Parker, director of the foundation. “We are thankful for Tippie and all of our volunteers and donors who give so much back into the community. They make our foundation thrive.”

Miller was also voted 2014 Volunteer of the Year by Charlotte Business Journal. She has no plans to stop volunteering and continues to be an active member on the Rowan Medical Center Foundation board.