Caring Fund — Changes Families’ Lives
The Caring Fund assists members of the Saint Francis Family who experience an unforeseen emergency or crisis. Since its inception in 1994, the Caring Fund has paid out nearly $817,000 to hundreds of employees. Here are two families that benefited from your generous contributions last year.
Employee Loses Husband, Gains Support of Saint Francis Family
Brenda Smith, a housekeeper at Saint Francis Medical Center, lost her husband, Sylas, after a long battle with lung cancer in July 2012. Although nothing can bring her beloved husband back, Saint Francis Foundation’s Caring Fund was able to bring some much-needed financial relief to Brenda in her time of need. It also gave her a measure of solace.
“For me, it wasn’t so much that I got a check, although I appreciated it very much,” says Brenda. “It was more that people cared enough about me to say, ‘maybe this will help you.’ The Caring Fund is more than just the money. When people donate to the fund, they’re actually donating care and compassion. I was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.”
With the assistance she received from her Saint Francis Family, Brenda was able to cut her hours at work in order to be by her husband’s side his last few weeks in hospice. “With help from the Caring Fund, I was able to provide for him in the last few weeks of his life,” she says.
After Leukemia Diagnosis, Saint Francis Family Helps Employee’s Family
At Saint Francis Medical Center, Lisa Pittman helps care for heart patients in the cardiac intensive care unit. At home, Lisa provides tender loving care for her daughter, Katelyn, 6, who was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2012. In addition to chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and lengthy hospital stays for Katelyn, the diagnosis resulted in medical expenses, unpaid family leave and an act of kindness from the Saint Francis Family. The assistance provided by the employee-supported Caring Fund went a long way toward easing the Pittmans’ financial burden.
Katelyn’s family is grateful for the support. “The assistance we got from the Caring Fund meant a lot,” says Lisa. “Saint Francis employees really do care. We never felt alone. We were fortunate to have wonderful family support, and great support coming from Saint Francis, too. Some people may not realize how much they can help, but all the employees together can help a lot of people.”
Going Above and Beyond to Improve the Patient Experience
Contributions to the Patient Care Equipment Fund allow the Foundation to provide funds to help improve the patient and customer experience. Contributions from Team One have been used throughout the Medical Center for new equipment and key updates to outdated areas.
Every day, members of the Saint Francis Family go above and beyond for our patients. Nowhere is that made more clear than by employee donations to the Patient Care Equipment Fund. The name may be long, but the purpose is simple: funding small improvements that have a big impact on patient comfort and health. These upgrades include everything from acquiring the latest cutting-edge equipment to improve patient outcomes to replacing obsolete televisions in patient rooms.
Thanks to your generous contributions during last year’s Team One campaign, the Medical Center was able to purchase all the items on its “wish list.”
One important addition was the GlideScope, which is now saving lives and improving outcomes in the Intensive Care Unit. This advanced video laryngoscope simultaneously guides and provides a clear view during intubation for faster and more accurate tube placement into an airway. It is especially crucial for patients with difficult airway passages.
An extra trauma cart may not sound like a big deal, but it provides major benefits for our patients. The new cart purchased through the Patient Care Equipment Fund makes a big difference in our busy Trauma Center, making it easier to move patients around when time is critical. Other new equipment made available by the fund includes clinical care recliners for Rehabilitation Services and blanket warmers to provide added comfort for people undergoing an open MRI.
Not only are these improvements suggested by members of the Saint Francis Family who see specific needs and propose concrete ways to meet them, they are improvements made possible by contributions from employees like you.