On January 10, 2017, Catharine “Cathie” Cook passed away after a courageous battle with ocular melanoma. For 17 years, Cathie led the McLean development office with passion, vision, and unyielding devotion to the hospital’s mission. She had an enormous impact on McLean and on the mental health field more broadly.
“Cathie’s tireless work ethic, warm personality and natural leadership abilities helped her build a successful development department, growing it from two to 15 individuals and raising nearly a quarter of a billion dollars during her tenure,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, McLean president and psychiatrist in chief and Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Chair of Psychiatry.
Most recently, Cathie led the launch and successful completion of McLean’s first comprehensive campaign, The Campaign for McLean Hospital—an effort that exceeded its goal and finished ahead of schedule.
A consummate relationship-builder and convener, Cathie substantially increased the hospital’s philanthropic base by developing a large network of friends and supporters. She established the McLean National Council—a group of influential individuals who serve as the ambassadorial arm of the hospital and provide major philanthropic support, as well as the McLean Board of Visitors, and, most recently, the Women’s Mental Health Leadership Council. Cathie also created the McLean Annual Dinner, the venue for presenting the McLean Award recognizing an individual who has furthered the public’s understanding of mental illness.
Over the years, countless individuals reached out to Cathie in their time of need, knowing that she would move mountains to help them find the care they or their loved one required. She maintained an unwavering positive attitude and a deep interest in those around her. Her elegant sense of style, wide smile and contagious laugh left a mark on everyone she met. Graciousness, kindness and the ability to see beauty in all things were Cathie’s hallmarks.