Tad Phelps’ Story: A Tradition of Giving Back is Helping St. Joe’s Move Forward

Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tad Phelps’ parents instilled in him the importance of giving back. Even though they didn’t have a lot of money they always gave what they could to causes that mattered to them, and from an early age Tad took notice. Years later, when he started both his career and a family of his own in Georgia, Tad made sure to continue the example of their generosity in Atlanta and then to St. Joseph’s Hospitals when life took him to the Tampa Bay area in 2017.

His gratefulness for having three healthy children of his own, whom all spent time in the NICU at birth, led Tad to become a supporter of a major children’s hospital in Atlanta, and upon his move to Tampa he was eager to find ways to help in his new hometown. When a friend suggested he meet with the president of the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation, Tad found a place where he knew he could make a difference.

“I had such a good experience with the children’s hospital in Atlanta and I could immediately sense that St. Joe’s was an organization I wanted to be a part of,” shares Tad, who started as a member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board in 2020 and transitioned to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board this past year.

While Tad’s work on the board isn’t the only way he gives back to ensure his community has the very best medical care close to home. As the CEO of Fintech, a local business with corporate offices directly across the street from the hospital, he has made sure St. Joe’s is one of the primary beneficiaries of the company’s community outreach program. Whether it’s reading to patients, participating in the Christmas in July toy drive, or encouraging donations to St. Joe’s through an automatic payroll deduction, Fintech and its employees have been wonderful partners to the hospital.

His family is personally involved, too. His three college-aged kids, TJ, Dylan, and Sydney have participated in the annual toy drive and his wife Barbara doles out cuddles to babies in the NICU. Most recently the family has made a significant financial gift to secure some much-needed equipment for the children’s hospital ER.

When oldest son TJ expressed an interest in becoming a doctor, he spent some time shadowing Dr. Carlos Abanses, a pediatric emergency doctor at St. Joseph’s who had become a good friend of the family.

“Carlos is such an amazing mentor because, like so many of the doctors at St. Joe’s, it’s obvious how deeply he cares about his patients,” explains Tad. “After a few weeks, TJ realized there was some equipment that needed to be updated to make things easier for both the doctors and the patients.”

Following in the footsteps of his grandparents and his parents, TJ decided he was going to raise the money by himself.

“Of course, I was incredibly proud of his determination, but I told him we would do this as a family.”

As a result, the Phelps’ made a gift to the children’s hospital which facilitated the purchase of much needed Ultrasound and GlideScope equipment. Such generosity to a teaching hospital like St. Joe’s not only helps today’s doctors treat their patients more efficiently and effectively but ensures the training of the next generation of medical professionals who will be caring for Tampa families like Tad’s many years into the future.

Such a wonderful example of giving back is worthy of note, but Tad isn’t motivated by acknowledgment of his good deeds, preferring for his efforts to stay under the radar. However, he realizes his role on the board makes him an ambassador of sorts.

“For me, giving back is a duty. I don’t do this for myself or for any kind of recognition. I have found something I care about, and I am blessed to be in a position that enables me to help. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so, and to see my kids understand the importance of it too is especially meaningful. In that way, I hope others will be inspired by my example as I was inspired by my parents, and do what they can to support such an extraordinary place.”