Turning dreams into reality

First slide

As a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Joe Kampa learned the importance of timing, focus, judgment and control. The professional athlete's self-discipline and competitive spirit led to his winning record on the baseball field, in law school and his professional career.

Today he is a commercial real estate success story, one of the most recognized brokers and highest achievers in the Washington area. Kampa is also a committed Catholic, devoted to his family and to what he believes in - the vision and the future of Divine Mercy Care.

Kampa plans to make dreams a reality for Divine Mercy Care, the nonprofit Fairfax-based Catholic health care organization, founded in 2000 by Dr. John Bruchalski, that runs the Tepeyac Family Center and DMC Pharmacy. To accomplish that, Kampa recently has established a Commercial Real Estate Referral Program, which has magnified philanthropic potential because of the value of office lease transactions in the Washington area.

Kampa, who has spent more than 20 years representing tenants such as major law firms, corporations, foundations, associations and nonprofits, was encouraged by his wife of 26 years, Kathleen, to launch the program after listening to Bruchalski talk about the vision of Divine Mercy Care at its November gala.

"It's about John Bruchalski's cause and my deep respect for him, inspired by my wife, who has promoted him for years," said Kampa. "This is a way to enable John Bruchalski to keep pursuing his growth dreams instead of looking over his shoulder at financial problems."

Kampa, as a tenant advocate and principal of Summit Commercial, has pledged to donate one-third of his earnings in the name of the entity he represents.

Over the years, Kampa has developed a network of satisfied clients.

"The mix of baseball with a law degree was perfect for commercial real estate because it is more of a street profession," said Kampa, who has a reputation for tenacity and thoroughness.

"Our plans are to develop from the ground up an authentically Catholic health care system for the Arlington Diocese," said Bob Laird, executive director of Divine Mercy Care.

Bruchalski has gained local and international attention and support in the Church, the medical field and the media for his renaissance in Catholic medical care, with his goal of "transforming hearts through health care." He is a guest speaker in the medical community and for pro-life organizations around the world. Next month, he will speak in Hong Kong at the invitation of local Catholic bishops. Medical students from schools, such as Georgetown University, intern at Tepeyac.

Tepeyac, with six OB/GYN physicians on staff, delivered 629 babies in 2008. Of those, 100 were charity cases, part of the $400,000 in charity care the practice shouldered last year. Projected charity costs for 2009 are $600,000, due to increased patient numbers from Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, rising birthrates and the sluggish economy.

In addition to delivering babies, Bruchalski's goal is to deliver a message that all human life is sacred, and to transform the culture into a "culture of life" as described by Pope John Paul II, where children are welcomed as a gift from God, not a burden.

"There is no other entity within the diocese that supports Catholic health care," said Betty Childers, associate director of Divine Mercy Care and vice-president of business development.

She said that priests refer couples to Tepeyac for natural family planning (NFP) classes. Tepeyac also provides support for diocesan programs such as Project Rachel, for post-abortion healing, and Gabriel Project, which assists women with crisis pregnancies. The clinic provides assistance to families who have lost a child. The recently opened nonprofit, pro-life DMC Pharmacy serves the area, including the elderly and underprivileged, with affordable discounts.

Kampa's commercial real estate referral program translates into a fast-paced growth opportunity for Divine Mercy Care, given that a typical lease in downtown Washington for 10,000-square-feet for 10 years would yield $25,000 for Divine Mercy Care.

"With rents being what they are today, lease costs are one of the larger expenses of doing business, other than payroll," Kampa said.

"Bruchalski needs lay people to step up and help," he said. "If we don't do it, no one is going to. Within our Faith, there are organizations that need our financial help, so people have to come out of their comfort zone. If it isn't money that they can give, then they can tithe in one way or another."

Kampa, who attends daily Mass with his wife, stressed how important his Catholic Faith is to his family.

"Daily Mass is our rock that guides us," he said. "It is the first and best part of our day."

Parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls, the Kampa's have four daughters. The oldest is now in college, one is a senior in high school and the youngest, 9, was adopted from Kazakhstan. Their second daughter is the first American invited to study at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, rated the top ballet academy in the world, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

When asked if she inherited this athletic ability from her dad, Kampa shook his head.

"She gets the grace from her mother."

Socarras is a freelance writer from Annandale.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2009