Horizons Summer 2021

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Horizons M E R C Y F O U N D AT I O N


Inspiring philanthropy. Changing lives. supportmercyfoundation.org

President’s Message

Donors and philanthropy partners Jean and Dean Decker have created an enduring legacy with their generosity and kindness.

Honoring the Past While Helping Future Generations For each of us, the path toward giving can start a variety of ways—a new personal connection, an experience that opens our eyes to the needs of others, or a simple giving request that speaks to you at the right time. For longtime Mercy Foundation donor Dean Decker, his relationship with Mercy Foundation began with his late wife, Kathy Yeates. Kathy was an ICU nurse and nursing instructor at Mercy General Hospital, and immediately upon her employment met the Sisters of Mercy and felt their immense dedication to the mission.

She wanted to lend her support beyond her compassionate work in the hospital and signed up to become an employee donor to Mercy Foundation through the Employees Lend a Hand program. “Kathy was so impressed by the Sisters of Mercy and it created in her a deep sense of loyalty to Mercy Hospitals,” Dean shares. Dean was equally enthusiastic about the Mercy Foundation mission and, soon, they became regular donors. When Kathy passed away 16 years ago, Dean remained a faithful donor, and his generosity has helped Mercy Foundation and the Sisters of Mercy continue to serve the people in our community who need health Continued on page 6

Summer is a wonderful time to unwind, recharge, and enjoy the celebrations of this warm season. And one celebration we’re enjoying at Mercy Foundation is the close of our fiscal year in June. We are excited to share that you, along with other generous donors, gifted over $7.9 million in 2020-2021—a truly inspiring amount that will have an immediate impact for so many in our community. Every gift we receive from you will change lives. From feeding the hungry and educating the underserved, to providing lifesaving equipment in our local Dignity Health hospitals and clinics, we simply couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you! I would also like to acknowledge the Mercy Foundation Board of Trustees who generously give their time, energy, and steadfast support. Successfully chaired by Thomas Johnson, the Board represents you, the donors, and Continued on page 7

The Sisters of Mercy


Sister Nora Mary Curtin, RSM, Retires from Mercy San Juan Medical Center

After 43 years of faithful and compassionate service at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Sister Nora—as she is affectionately called— officially retired in August 2020. As was the case with many events and celebrations during the pandemic, her party was delayed. To everyone’s delight, it seemed appropriate to honor her during Nurses’ Week this year. On May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, Sister Nora came for a “surprise” party! As she entered, she was serenaded by a group of children playing violin, conducted by Slava Vaskan, a night shift nurse. Mercy San Juan Medical Center’s newly created choir, Healing Voices, also performed and staff came from all over the hospital—and even some who had retired—to express gratitude. One of the highlights of the event was the announcement by Michael Korpiel, President of Mercy San Juan Medical Center, that in her honor, the Sister Nora Mary Curtin Nursing Excellence Award was being established. A Lifetime of Care and Service Sister Nora’s career began in 1973, when she graduated from Sacramento City College as a Registered Nurse. 2

After working as a Staff Nurse at both Mercy General Hospital and Mercy Redding, Sister Nora was assigned to Mercy San Juan in 1977. “From my first day, I felt welcomed by everyone,” Sister Nora says. After a few years, she decided to further her education and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of San Francisco. She then returned to Mercy San Juan and dedicated the rest of her wonderful career to the hospital and its community, initially serving as an Administrative Nursing Supervisor. “The Administrative Nursing Supervisor role opened my eyes to the bigger picture, and helped me to grow and develop,” she says, and fondly recalls working side by side with the talented staff as a great joy. During her career at Mercy San Juan, Sister Nora also managed both the Neuroscience Unit and the Medical

Acute Units, and eventually, also the Outpatient Wound Care/Ostomy Clinic and Hyperbaric Oxygen Departments. “Our excellent Neuroscience staff and Wound Care nurses were such a joy to work with. Hardly a day went by that I didn’t learn something new from them,” she says. Our Gratitude On behalf of the thousands of people served by Sister Nora’s devotion to healing, Mercy Foundation offers her our deepest gratitude. From the hospital staff and its volunteers, to her grateful patients and their families, Sister Nora exemplifies excellence, compassion, and a dedication to growth and learning. She is already deeply missed within the halls of Mercy San Juan, but her joy and warmth will be felt and honored for years to come. We send our best wishes to Sister Nora for a wonderful retirement and celebrate her 48 years of meaningful service to our community!

Partners in Philanthropy


Upcoming Event: Concert for Humankindness Please join us for the CommonSpirit Health Concert for Humankindness, Tuesday, September 21, 2021. To be held on World Gratitude Day, this event is a celebration of our heroic health care workers and will focus on alleviating health care disparities in our communities. Locally, Mercy Foundation will be raising support for the Angel Care Fund, helping women and men in our area with limited resources who are experiencing cancer, and providing assistance with the medical care and support they deserve. Howie Mandel will serve as the Master of Ceremony for this livestreamed event. During the concert, viewers will hear special messages from Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Dean, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, local Dignity Health nurse navigators, and more. Featured musical performances will include Kristin Chenoweth, En Vogue, Keb’ Mo’, Straight No Chaser, The Piano Guys, and Vanessa Williams.

We hope you will join us for this exciting event! To register, scan the QR code in the image to the right or go to:

supportmercyfoundation.org/ concert2021 If you are unable to attend, you can support the Angel Care Fund now by visiting:

supportmercyfoundation.org/ support/angelcare

Spreading Humankindness! With history rooted in the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, in early 2019 Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) joined their health care ministries to create CommonSpirit Health, a non-profit Catholic health system focused on advancing health for all people and serving communities in 21 states. In the two years since Dignity Health joined CommonSpirit Health, Mercy Foundation’s mission has never wavered and, together, we will continue to advance the mission of the Sisters of Mercy to help feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate the underserved, and care for the sick at local Dignity Health hospitals and clinics. One hundred percent of all your generous contributions to Mercy Foundation will continue to benefit our local ministries.


Partners in Philanthropy


Honoring Our Orange Ribbon Heroes

We’ll share your words of gratitude and let them know the care they provide inspired you to make a gift in their honor. One hundred percent of your gift will make a positive impact in our community by directly benefitting the ministry you have chosen. Thank you for your generosity!

Throughout the pandemic, our caregivers have been the light in our community! That’s why Mercy Foundation recently reached out to community members like you to honor our Orange Ribbon Heroes—our local caregivers who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic. The response was overwhelming, and here’s just a sample of the messages we received: “Your devotion in providing the best medical care is very much appreciated. We are so grateful to have you on our medical team.”

“Your compassionate and professional care will always fill us with gratitude.” “My hats off to you all for doing such a careful and smooth job which ran everyone through the vaccination process!”

To learn more, visit:

supportmercyfoundation.org/ ORH

You can join the celebration today and honor local doctors, nurses, and other team members with a tribute gift and message of encouragement and appreciation.

New Van to Help Keep Kids Safe in Sacramento Safe Kids Greater Sacramento, a local coalition that aims to educate and protect families, recently received a brand new Safe Kids van, funded entirely by a grant from the County of Sacramento Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) program. Mercy Foundation was pleased to partner on this project by assisting with the grant, which helped make this purchase possible. The van is mainly used for the agency’s Car Seat Safety Program and events such as car seat fitting stations, classes, trainings, and education. Mercy Foundation is honored to help Safe Kids continue their tireless work preventing childhood injuries in our community. 4

Your Partnership During the Pandemic Thank you for your generous giving! Since the start of the pandemic, Mercy Foundation has facilitated over 370 donations from over 300 donors of Personal Protective Equipment, cloth masks, meals and snacks. These gifts have exceeded an incredible $1,008,400 in value. Mercy Foundation was also honored to help coordinate the first community-based vaccination clinic at Cristo Rey High School and we proudly serve on the Dignity Health Community Vaccination Clinic Committee as well. Throughout the past year, each of us has faced challenges, and to witness the outpouring of community support and kindness for Mercy Foundation ministries fills our hearts with gratitude. We are truly humbled by your gifts—thank you!


Partners in Philanthropy


Continued from cover

care, education, housing, and other support to survive. A New Chapter

in their 90s.” And in the thirteen years since, Dean and Jean have continued their close relationship with philanthropy and giving.

After suffering the loss of Kathy, Dean’s family encouraged him to “put himself out there a little bit,” and try to meet someone online. Meanwhile, Jean, a retired elementary school teacher, had friends gently nudging her to try this dating approach too. She shares, “I felt like, ‘this is not going to work.’ But it did work! And we found each other! All four of our parents were at our wedding—and they all were

Although the Deckers have given to many Mercy Foundation ministries over the years—including the Fight Against Human Trafficking, Mather Veterans Village, Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, and more—most recently their giving interest is Cristo Rey High School Sacramento, which offers students with limited economic resources a rigorous college-preparatory education

combined with a unique Work-Study program. Dean says, “There’s no doubt in my mind that the school is working wonders. It’s providing opportunities to kids that wouldn’t otherwise have them, and the payoff is incredible. The school is turning lives around. It’s changing the odds.” Jean, who devoted her entire career to public school instruction in Dixon, agrees. “Cristo Rey students are getting a great education by folks who care about them. We both toured the

Leaving a Legacy If you have included Mercy Foundation in your estate plan, please let us know so we may thank and recognize you with a Legacy Society membership. If you haven’t yet created your estate plan, Mercy Foundation is pleased to offer you a free will-writing tool to help you make a plan for those you love: freewill.com/mercyfoundation FreeWill is an online resource that allows you to create a legally valid will at no cost in under 20 minutes or to easily gather information should you choose to work with an attorney. Just as you have been there to support the future of Mercy Foundation’s ministries, we want to help you get your plans in order and care for the future of your loved ones. If you have questions about using this simple tool to create your will or would like to learn about making an estate gift that will benefit you in your lifetime, please contact Kevin Duggan at kevin.duggan@dignityhealth.org or (916) 851-2703. 6

school, visited classrooms, and met the grateful students. I was blown away by what I saw at Cristo Rey. What an accomplishment!”

background in anthropology. “It’s a pillar of faith for many religions, a tenet of beliefs. But simply put, it’s a human quality to help those in need.”

Continuing a Legacy of Love

Jean describes their decision to give to Mercy Foundation as a way to honor Kathy. “By supporting Mercy Foundation and its ministries, we continue to recognize and remember Kathy and her parents and brother— who Dean knew since high school. She had a very generous heart and our gifts honor them all.”

Upon Kathy’s passing, Dean inherited money from her estate, which she’d originally inherited through her parents. Wanting to continue fulfilling Kathy’s passion for the mission of the Sisters of Mercy and for giving where the need is greatest, in 2011 he reached out to Mercy Foundation to discuss ways to set up a gift plan, choosing to establish a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). “The CGA was very easy to set up and I’m happy I did it.” To anyone considering setting up their own legacy gift, he says, “There’s absolutely no downside to it—it makes good financial sense and has exceeded all my expectations.” In fact, Dean was so pleased with the first CGA in 2011, that he created a second one that same year, then a third in 2019. Jean notes that Dean’s dedication to giving is interesting, because he’s a “really frugal guy”—and Dean happily agrees. “It’s true! I am a penny pincher, and will shop for the best deal, for however long it takes. But when it comes to philanthropy, I am entirely enthusiastic and comfortable with giving.” Describing his motivation to give, Dean draws on his academic

Thank you, Dean and Jean Decker, your kindness and generosity serve as an enduring legacy not only for Kathy Yeates and her family, but for you both as well. Your inspiring charitable gifts enable Mercy Foundation to advance the mission of the Sisters of Mercy and we deeply appreciate your many years of friendship!


Charitable Gift Annuity

President’s Message (continued)

is committed to furthering Mercy Foundation’s mission and vision. (For a list of the wonderful community leaders serving on our Board, please see their names and roles on the back page.) As the days of summer wane, I hope they are filled with many joyous moments of friendship and relaxation. We celebrate each of you for helping others and look forward to a strong year of partnership ahead. Sincerely,

Kevin B. Duggan President & CEO

In exchange for a gift of cash, stocks or bonds, Mercy Foundation will make fixed payments to you (alone or with another person) for your lifetime (or joint lifetimes). This arrangement is easy to execute, requiring only a simple, one-page agreement and the benefits may include: • Fixed payments for life for you and/or a loved one • Partially tax-free income

To learn more visit:

• An immediate income tax deduction


• A lasting contribution to a Mercy Foundation supported ministry


Partners in Philanthropy


Your Generosity is Changing Lives

Thanks to your kind giving, Mercy Foundation has recently supported the launch of exciting new programs helping the most vulnerable in our community and the purchase of new equipment caring for patients at our local Dignity Health Sacramento hospitals. Your generosity is changing lives every day and provides quality, compassionate services and health care for our families, friends, and neighbors. We’re excited to share below just some of the ways your gifts are benefiting our community.

PROGRAMS Blood Pressure Monitoring Program for Mercy Medical Group Patients

M e r c y

With the purchase of 500 blood pressure cuffs, local Mercy Medical Group clinic patients are able to participate in the telemedicine blood pressure monitoring program and be seen in the comfort of their own home or space of their choosing without the burden of physically traveling to a building. The benefits of this program include the ability to help patients who have been undertreated, manage vulnerable patients who are unable to come into a clinic, and maintain patient access in busy practices while improving population health. Food Insecurity Pilot Project at Methodist Hospital Mercy Foundation recently committed funding for an innovative new project to address the challenges of food insecurity for seniors and children living in South Sacramento. Because food insecurity and lack of access to healthy food play a significant role in exacerbating diet-related illness and malnutrition, utilizing food bank services can help the most vulnerable in our community enjoy less uncertainty and better health. Suicide Prevention Program Methodist Hospital of Sacramento’s new Suicide Prevention Program, in partnership with WellSpace Health, provides resources such as housing, medication, therapy, and much more. We’re proud to report that this


New Parent Telehealth Counseling Program Mercy Medical Group is now offering the New Parent Telehealth Counseling Program, allowing access to maternal mental health evaluation and treatment services. The program helps parents work through their thoughts and emotions, discuss concerns while figuring out new parenting roles, and learn new ways to cope with difficult situations. This important counseling program will proudly provide support for up to 100 parents over a 2-year period.

powerful outreach of assessment and support has resulted in great success for these patients. Since the launch at Methodist Hospital, two additional hospitals have created similar programs as well at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, in partnership with WellSpace Health, and Mercy Hospital of Folsom, funded by Sacramento County.

EQUIPMENT Baby Warmers

CAREPoint Radio Workstation Emergency Departments depend on clear, fast, and dependable cross-team communications—both before and during patient care— and staff relies on powerful technology to help manage communication and deliver high-quality care. The new CAREpoint Radio Workstation at Methodist Hospital of Sacramento shortens door-totreatment times, helps prepare the medical team in advance of the patient arriving at the hospital, securely archives all communications, and enhances patient care.

Mercy Foundation recently provided funding for three new baby warmers in Mercy Hospital of Folsom’s Family Birthing Center. These small units keep newborns warm and allow caregivers room to work (yet stay cool themselves). The warmer’s built-in technology includes adjustable lighting, a scale and X-ray cassette tray, so babies don’t have to be moved for these vital assessments. From their very first moments, we’re making sure our newest patients—and their families—feel cozy, supported and safe. Bedside Swallow Scope The Bedside Fiberoptic Swallow Scope allows Mercy General Hospital’s speech and language pathologists to quickly and comfortably evaluate medically fragile patients for swallow function and aspiration risk. Because this evaluation tool is used bedside, patients get tested and diagnosed faster and can begin eating and drinking and receiving medication sooner—creating a better patient experience and potentially shortening their hospital stay. Localizer Wire-free Guidance System A new tool at Mercy Hospital of Folsom, the Breast Localizer Wire-free System, provides much needed day-of-procedure ease for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The small tracker is implanted at Radiology into the breast any time prior to lesion removal at the hospital. Previously, a patient had to get an uncomfortable and protruding wire placed marking the location. And because Radiology is across the street Continued on page 10

C o m p a s s i o n 9

Partners in Philanthropy


G e n e r o s i t y 10

from the hospital, after insertion, the patient then had to drive to the hospital for the procedure. Now, on the day of surgery, the patient no longer needs the wire inserted and can go directly to the hospital—improving the patient experience and alleviating inconvenience and stress on the day of surgery. Medical Imaging Camera

Local patients have a new tool in the fight against breast cancer: an imaging camera used during a surgical breast lumpectomy at Mercy Hospital of Folsom. The new equipment not only offers higher-quality and more detailed imaging, but also produces images faster for surgeons and their teams, which allows patients to get information and peace of mind as they awake from surgery. Ultrasound Device and Ablation System A new ultrasound device and ablation system for oncology patients has recently been installed at Mercy General Hospital. Ablation in cancer treatment pinpoints the cancer and “zaps” it—offering patients a treatment option in cases that might have been medically inoperable. The ablation procedure is quick, less invasive, allows for a faster recovery, and is more precise. This treatment reduces stress on cancer patients and their caregivers and improves health outcomes in our community.

Your generosity and kindness means everything to those in need. Thank you for Inspiring Philanthropy and Changing Lives!

Cooling NICU Transport System Our area’s sickest newborns are transported from other local hospitals to receive the highest level of care at Mercy San Juan Medical Center’s amazing NICU. Some of these infants require whole body cooling to slow the progression of brain injury that may have occurred during birth. With a recently funded active cooling transport system from Mercy Foundation, therapeutic treatment can begin during transport, rather than once they’ve arrived at Mercy San Juan, resulting in better outcomes for these tiny critical patients.

Your Support Helped Kids With a Safe Place to Play In February, a grand opening ceremony was held at Mustard Seed School on the campus of Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, unveiling their new Outdoor Learning and Play Center. The school gives children experiencing homelessness a safe place to play and learn outside, and includes three buildings, gardens, a field, and a basketball court. Outdoor classrooms and a stage will host talent shows, theater productions, special assemblies, and school celebrations. Casey Knittel, Mustard Seed Program Director said of the longawaited project, “We are so excited to show the community of supporters the new outdoor learning center and play area. For children experiencing homelessness, this area is just what the kids need to safely play, learn, unwind and simply have fun.” She continued, “This is the realization of a long-held dream for our school, and we’re deeply grateful to all of the donors who gave so generously to build a place where kids can just be kids.” Mercy Foundation is deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to this project!

Environmentally Friendly Communication Consistent with the Critical Concern of Earth by the Sisters of Mercy, who encourage adopting more environmentally sustainable practices, we’re reducing our use of paper. Communication with you regarding activities at the Foundation and the impact of your generosity remains our top priority! To help us share updates, please send your email address to: mercyfoundationsac@dignityhealth.org and include your first and last name. We’ll continue to bring you stories that show the impact of your kindness and how you are making a difference for your families, friends, and neighbors. Thank you! Mercy Foundation respects your privacy and recognizes that we must maintain and use your personal information responsibly. We will not trade, share, rent or sell your personal data with anyone. 11

Non Profit US Postage Paid Sacramento, CA Permit #296 3400 Data Drive Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 supportmercyfoundation.org

Mercy MercyFoundation FoundationBoard Boardof ofTrustees Trustees Officers


Thomas Johnson Chair

Gil A. Albiani Edmundo Castañeda, FACHE Costanzo DiPerna, MD Cecilia Divin, MD Nathan Esch Paula Higashi Nina Iliff Michael R. Korpiel, DHA, FACHE Chris Lemmon Garry P. Maisel Mark Read Alan Shatzel, DO John Stevenson, MD Terence Street Linda Ubaldi

Sr. Eileen Enright, RSM Vice Chair Brenda Davis Secretary Michael T. Genovese Treasurer Sr. Gabrielle Marie Jones, RSM Sisters of Mercy West Midwest President Designee Kevin B. Duggan Mercy Foundation President and CEO

Questions or comments about this newsletter? We welcome your feedback. Contact us at mercyfoundationsac@dignityhealth.org or (916) 851–2700 to share your comments or sign up for an electronic version of Horizons.

Your Inspiring Impact TOTAL COMMUNITY GIVING IN FISCAL YEAR 2021: $7,934,195.00 This past year, you—our donors and valued partners— supported local ministries through a variety of ways: annual donations, planned and estate gifts, Grateful Patient gifts honoring Dignity Health caregivers, and much more. These vital funds help some of the most vulnerable in our community in profound ways: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, providing opportunities for at-risk youth, and caring for the sick. On behalf of the patients and community you are helping with your gifts, thank you for your individual acts of kindness and generosity. You are changing lives! Thanks to an operating grant from Dignity Health, 100% of your charitable gift will go to a Sisters of Mercy ministry of your choice.

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