Betty Berkman Donor
Berkman Building "An opportunity to do something very meaningful for this community"
David and Betty Berkman wanted to be a part of a project that would benefit the community that’s become their home. When Mrs. Berkman first saw the new building that now bears the family name, it took her back to a couple of years earlier, when her grandson Adam was hospitalized over Thanksgiving and family members took turns staying at the hospital with him. “I thought back to sitting in that hard chair all night because I didn’t want to leave him,” she said. “I said to myself, ‘Oh boy, they needed this for sure.’”
The Betty and David Berkman Building for Patient Care replaced an old patient wing with 48 spacious patient rooms that incorporate modern comforts of home. All rooms have flat-screen televisions, mini-fridges, wireless Internet and sleeper sofas for family members who are staying the night.
The Berkman Building is seen by many as shaping the image of Baptist Medical Center Nassau as a jewel and community asset residents are proud of. With more and more doctors joining the hospital’s medical staff and more procedures offered, there’s less of a need for Nassau County residents to go to what they call “Big Baptist” in Jacksonville. “People come up to us all the time and say ‘Thank you, thank you,’” Mrs. Berkman said. “Every time someone says something to us, we know what a big difference it has made in the community.”
The Berkmans lived in Atlanta for years, but had a vacation home in Amelia Island for more than three decades. Even as part-time residents, they were involved in the community, serving on various boards and making generous donations to countless charitable causes. They ended up spending more and more time in Northeast Florida, and when they moved here full-time, it wasn’t even a question that they’d become even more involved. “We had an opportunity to do something very meaningful for this community,” Mrs. Berkman said. “It was as simple as that.”