Solid Start 2019 Partner Summit. Left to right: Saeed Mirfattah (SFGHF), Dr. Melanie Thomas (Solid Start), Judy Guggenhime (SFGHF Board of Directors), Tom Rohlen, Shelagh Rohlen
The Foundation mourns the loss of Tom Rohlen, whose extraordinary generosity has had a profound impact on our work and on the lives of children and families in San Francisco. Perhaps no single project is testament to Tom’s passion, vision, and generosity more than Solid Start, which he seeded and sustained since its inception in 2015.
Tom’s vision for this innovative program was to connect and strengthen the systems that serve vulnerable pregnant people, families, and young children at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) and in the greater community of San Francisco. His deep philanthropic support matched only by the gift of his time and his expertise paved the path for Solid Start to mature and evolve into a model program.
While his contributions were great, he preferred to stay out of the limelight, often working directly with faculty and staff to advance project goals. Tom was legendary for his meticulous attention to detail, his deep understanding of the science of child development, and his passion for social impact.
Tom was a Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow with Stanford University’s Institute for International Studies and a Japan specialist by training. He also taught at the University of California, the University of Hawaii, and Harvard University. As such, he was a scholar, researcher, and author who is leaving behind a significant legacy and contribution to his own field. We, at the Foundation, will miss him most for his humanity, kindness, and generosity of spirit.
~Saeed Mirfattah, Chief of Staff