Horizons Winter 2019

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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 Sister Clare has found joy in service throughout her life.

A Call to Service Sister Clare Marie Dalton, RSM Shares Her Inspiration to Serve

“We shall not cease from Exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Elliott

Sister Clare Marie Dalton, RSM quotes this poem, a smile on her face, as she reflects upon the arc of her career. As a very young nurse, her first position was at Mercy General Hospital, where she currently serves as the Vice President of Mission Integration. “I suppose we do end up where we started!” she jokes. As a student at Mercy High School in Tralee, Ireland, Sr. Clare was called to service. She was inspired partly by her aunt, Sr. Mary Grace O’Flaherty, RSM, who is now retired and living at the

Mercy Center in Auburn. “My aunt would come to visit us and tell us stories about her work here. I also went to a high school run by the Sisters, so the influence was strong.” She joined the Sisters of Mercy at age 18 and flew to California to complete her novitiate in Auburn. With a passion for serving those who are vulnerable and in need of support, Sr. Clare found herself drawn to health care. “I was always interested in health care so I trained as a nurse to serve our ministry.” Sr. Clare became a nurse in 1976 and after several years, she was called to continue her education in the area of religious formation. She became an educator and leader among new sisters in a process now called “incorporation.” The rest of her career has combined these two roles Continued on page 3

As we journey into both the busy and joyful Christmas Season and the New Year ahead, I want to take this opportunity to pause and sincerely thank each of you for your on-going support of Mercy Foundation and the Sisters of Mercy, who inspire us to care for those in need. In 2019, your generosity positively impacted the lives of hundreds in our region, including those struggling with the daily challenges of multiple sclerosis, victims of human trafficking, those in a behavioral health crisis, the most fragile and premature newborns and their parents, and numerous other men, women and children who are vulnerable and in need. You have demonstrated a deep caring and compassion to those served by our ministries, and on behalf of Mercy Foundation and the Sisters of Mercy, please accept our deep gratitude. In this year’s final edition of Horizons, I trust you will enjoy reading about Sister Clare Marie Dalton, RSM, and her longstanding commitment to our community. You’ll also have the opportunity to Continued on page 3

Partners in Philanthropy


type of high-fidelity simulation is a must for the level of care and safety we are expected to provide to our patients.”

New Operating Room Simulator Will Help Meet Needs for HighlyTrained Personnel Recently, the Dignity Health Collaborative Learning Center in Sacramento hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand new HighFidelity Operating Room Simulator. With the help of donors like you, this unique training facility will provide education and certification to over 900 operating room nurses and allied health care personnel each year. Besides a fully-equipped OR, the facility includes a three-bed PostAnesthesia Care unit, a scrub room, three de-brief rooms, a simulation control room, and several high-fidelity mannequins that give students 2

valuable hands-on experience during simulated procedures. In addition to the over $565,000 generously donated by Mercy Foundation donors, Dignity Health has invested nearly $2 million to establish the simulation center. It will provide training to OR teams from the six Dignity Health hospitals in the Greater Sacramento Division and will welcome nurses and other personnel from neighboring Divisions to the north and west. “Most people understand how technology-driven the operating room can be and working in that environment requires a tremendous amount of training,” said Lawson Stuart, Greater Sacramento Division Director of Clinical Education. “That training can’t be accomplished solely in a classroom, it must be tactile, contextual and collaborative. This

The need for qualified operating room nurses and personnel is increasing as many current perioperative nurses reach retirement age and younger nurses do not have the training necessary to transition into this specialty. The highfidelity OR Simulator will provide handson training in a realistic environment to ensure that every member of our surgical team is completely prepared the very first time they enter an OR. It is part of Dignity Health’s dedication to maintaining the highest standards in our health care ministry. “This project has been a dream of ours, and we are so excited to be celebrating its completion,” said Laurie Harting, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Division at the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It is the first Dignity Health simulation center in California and only the second such center within the entire Dignity Health system. It is also the largest! The demand for surgical procedures is growing, and with it, our need for highly trained OR staff. With realistic hands-on training, we believe our nurses will feel more confident in performing their job duties at the high level of excellence that is the standard in our operating rooms.” Mercy Foundation is deeply grateful to the many individuals and businesses that generously supported this project, enhancing surgical care in our region for decades to come.

The Sisters of Mercy


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as she has served in numerous mission integration capacities.

President’s Message

At Dignity Health, several Sisters of Mercy ensure that our mission and values stay at the center of all we do. Sr. Clare does this for Mercy General Hospital in a myriad of ways. In addition to overseeing the chaplains and hospital volunteers, she also helps to manage the House of Mercy, which offers hospitality to families of patients who have traveled long distances for medical treatment.

learn about our new High-Fidelity Operating Room Simulator, which, thanks to your support, will provide state of the art education programs for the highly-trained operating room teams in our regional Dignity Health facilities. Finally, we are excited to share the list of programs, services and equipment you have made possible through your generous gifts to the Area of Greatest Need. Thank you for the difference you make!

“Frequently I reflect that our whole health care ministry began with Catherine McAuley and Mercy House in Dublin,” she says. “I like to make that connection for our employees here at Mercy General, because I want them to understand that they are carrying on her work and the mission of Mercy.” When asked what keeps her motivation strong, she says she loves being able to help patients and their families. “My favorite part is that I have a great deal of flexibility in how I can help people,” she says. “I am able to identify patients and families who are in need of assistance and determine the best way to offer that support.” Sometimes this takes the form of emotional or spiritual support, other times it means helping someone to find a ride to a followup appointment, ensuring a family member is contacted, or sitting with someone in the chapel.

Sr. Clare Marie Dalton, RSM Often Sr. Clare is able to provide assistance because of the generosity of Mercy Foundation donors like you. Clean clothes for patients experiencing homelessness, gift cards for gas to those who may not be able to afford the transportation for treatment, or assistance with final arrangements for a loved one whose family is unable to cover the cost of burial are all examples of mercy you have helped provide at Mercy General Hospital. Sr. Clare’s passion for helping those in need springs from a call to care for the vulnerable and underserved. She is particularly drawn to assisting men, women and children with few resources or those without families to help care for them. “I like being around patients and families,” explains Sr. Clare, “and there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that maybe I’ve made a small difference to them.” “Even as I end up where I started, I have a greater understanding of all that is important in life—faith, justice and peace to name a few,” explains Sr. Clare. “I am filled with gratitude


I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and happy New Year. Best regards,

Kevin B. Duggan President & CEO

for a meaningful life of responding to God’s call, and I admire the dedication and generosity of all who work and support the mission of Mercy—past and present.” Mercy Foundation is deeply grateful to Sr. Clare for the spirit of compassion she brings to Mercy General Hospital, as are the hundreds of patients and their families who benefit from her many kindnesses. Thank you, Sister Clare, for keeping the mission of the Sisters so present and central in our health care ministry! 3

Partners in Philanthropy


Your Generosity at Work

When you give to Mercy Foundation’s Area of Greatest Need, your support enables us to award grants that help meet the most outstanding needs at each of the ministries we serve. Once a year, the Mercy Ministries Grants Committee selects a number of deserving projects across our ministries that align with our mission and the intent of generous donors like you. This fiscal year, we are pleased to have awarded 22 grants totaling $1,094,864! The following grants were made available only because of your acts of generosity. On behalf of the many patients, families and communities who benefit from the Mercy Ministries Grant Program, we are deeply grateful for your gifts. We couldn’t do it without you!

M e r c y

Active Cooling Transport System for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Mercy San Juan Medical Center will be used to induce therapeutic hypothermia in newborns who have experienced brain trauma during birth in order to mitigate the risk of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and sensory deficits. AvaSure Video Monitoring System in the Emergency Department at Methodist Hospital of Sacramento will create a safer environment among patients receiving behavioral health treatment. Breast Specimen Medical Imaging Camera for Mercy Hospital of Folsom will improve the quality and speed of breast tissue imaging, used during surgery to ensure all cancer has been removed. This will give patients peace of mind immediately following a lumpectomy. Car Seat Program at Mercy San Juan Medical Center will provide free car seats and education about child passenger safety to low-income and non-English speaking families throughout Sacramento County. Disinfecting Ultraviolet Light for Mercy General Hospital and Methodist Hospital of Sacramento will thoroughly disinfect patient care areas without the use of harsh chemicals.


Angel Fund at the Dignity Health Cancer Institute Mercy Foundation’s Angel Fund enables Oncology Nurse Navigators to help lowincome patients overcome the many financial barriers they may encounter during their cancer journey. Often a little support goes a long way for helping patients who are burdened by the cost of their treatment. The Angel Fund provides assistance with co-pays, travel costs to and from treatment, respite care, and wig purchases, among other things. In many cases, support provided by the Angel Fund has saved lives by enabling vulnerable patients to continue their cancer treatment when they otherwise would not have the resources to do so.

Fiberoptic Endoscopy Equipment for Mercy General Hospital will assist speech-language pathologists to easily and regularly evaluate patients’ risk of aspiration and progress in swallowing therapy after head and neck cancer, trauma, suspected vocal cord injury, or prolonged intubation. Hearing Aids for Mercy Medical Group Patients with Limited Means will allow the Otolaryngology and Audiology Departments to assist patients to obtain hearing aids if they are not otherwise able to afford them, hereby improving their quality of life and reducing isolation due to hearing loss. Community Bus for Mercy McMahon Terrace Senior residents at Mercy McMahon Terrace are offered many opportunities to maintain their independence, even as their need for living assistance increases. Group outings, such as lunch in the McKinley Rose Garden and tours of neighborhood Christmas lights, had been an important part of the facility’s culture until last year when its aging bus became too costly to repair. Through your generosity, Mercy McMahon Terrace will now have a new community bus that will allow residents, including those who rely on wheelchairs, to once again experience group outings that enrich their quality of life.

Infant Warmers for the Family Birth Center at Mercy Hospital of Folsom will assist in the stabilization of fragile newborns that require additional support immediately after birth. Labor Beds for the Family Birth Center at Mercy General Hospital will provide maximum safety and comfort for laboring mothers. Making Wellness Programs Accessible at the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center by subsidizing the cost of day programs that enhance the cognitive, physical, and emotional health of those living with Multiple Sclerosis. Medication Cart for Mercy McMahon Terrace will meet the specific needs of this assisted-living facility to improve the safety and efficiency of its Medication Management Program for residents. New Equipment for the Mercy Outpatient Rehabilitation Center that will enhance care for patients using biofeedback and visual scanning tests that improve the speed and accuracy of evaluations. This will contribute to patients’ ability to recover more quickly from injury or surgery and maintain their health in the future.

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Partners in Philanthropy


G e n e r o s i t y 6

Stop the Bleed Classes Taught by Mercy San Juan Trauma Experts will educate the public and the students at 20 local schools on how to save lives in the event of a bleeding emergency. The program also supplies each school with emergency bags containing materials needed to slow bleeding.

Support for the Dining Room at Loaves & Fishes Sacramento will help provide hot, nutritious meals year-round to the over 3,600 men, women and children experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. Support for the Mercy Housing Leataata Floyd Student and Family Community Center will help fund a vibrant program for youth who have experienced trauma and violence by offering them a safe environment that fosters personal health and academic success. Updates to the Emergency Department Waiting Room at Mercy San Juan Medical Center will refresh the patient waiting area to be more comfortable and efficient for the over 200 patients who pass through this space daily. Wireless LOCalizer and Faxitron Digital Biopsy Specimen System at Methodist Hospital of Sacramento will enable breast cancer patients to receive pre-operative procedures for a potentially cancerous breast tumor without having to travel to another facility. Yoga Classes at the Dignity Health Medical Foundation’s Children’s Centers will help young people from low-income families improve awareness and connection to their bodies in order to recover from trauma.

Scholarship Aid and Student Ministry Retreats for Cristo Rey High School Sacramento Students at Cristo Rey High School are granted admission based on their desire to learn and their willingness to work hard. They are also exclusively from families with very limited resources. Although their participation in the Work-Study Program significantly offsets the cost of their tuition, 98% of Cristo Rey families still need financial aid in order to afford the yearly tuition of $2,300. Your generosity is enabling economically disadvantaged students in Sacramento to access a rigorous, collegepreparatory education. This grant will also enable students to participate in yearly spiritual retreats, which strengthen their relationships with their peers, God and themselves.

McAuley & Legacy Society Members are Celebrated Each year, Mercy Foundation honors members of our McAuley and Legacy Societies at an annual celebration held in the fall. Recently, we welcomed many new members to the McAuley Society which includes donors who have given a lifetime total of $25,000 or more, and to the Legacy Society which honors those who have included Mercy Foundation in their estate planning. The evening was filled with inspiring moments, including words of gratitude from leaders of our Fight Against Human Trafficking initiative and a touching video about the Sisters of Mercy mission and the important role donors play in continuing this work today. For their outstanding commitment to the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercy San Juan

From Left: John McIntyre, chief philanthropy officer for Mercy Foundation presents a Mercy Cross to Star and Bob Pepper for their generous giving, totaling more than $1 million. Medical Center, Mercy Foundation was honored to present Bob and Star Pepper with the 2019 Inspiring Philanthropy Award. This special recognition is not given every year and is reserved for those donors who have been exceptionally consistent and generous supporters of Mercy Foundation and the ministries it serves. Through their foundation, The Robert S. and Star Pepper Foundation, this inspiring couple has made a tangible difference in the lives of so many. In a video created to surprise them with the award announcement at the recent McAuley & Legacy Societies Celebration, participants of the MS Achievement Center thanked them for making their life-changing day

wellness program possible. Staff and grateful patients of the NICU at Mercy San Juan Medical Center likewise expressed their heartfelt thanks for the Pepper’s generous gift to build the new and expanded NICU which will be named after them. “We give because we’ve been blessed with so much,” the Peppers said, “it is our joy and our honor to be able to use our blessings in this way. This is why we’re on this earth.” Mercy Foundation is deeply grateful to every member of our donor community for partnering with us to advance the Sisters of Mercy mission throughout the Sacramento region. Thank you for inspiring philanthropy and changing lives!

Want to change the future and save on your tax bill? Contact us to learn more about: • Making a gift through your will or estate • Making a gift that gives you payments for life • Gifting real estate • Making a gift that protects your assets

For more information about making a planned gift, or to request a personal gift illustration, please call Kevin Duggan at (916) 851-2703. You may also visit the planned giving section of our website at planyourlegacy.supportmercyfoundation.org


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

Mercy Foundation Board of Trustees Officers


Alan Shatzel, DO Chair

Gil Gil A. A. Albiani Albiani Edmundo Edmundo Castaneda Castaneda Costanzo Costanzo DiPerna, DiPerna, MD MD Roxanne Elliott Sister Eileen Enright, RSM Sister Enright, RSM LaurieEileen Harting Laurie Harting Nina Iliff Nina GarryIliff P. Maisel Garry P. Maisel MD Janak Mehtani, Janak Mehtani, MD Mark Read Mark Read John Stevenson, MD John Stevenson, Terence Street MD Terence Street

Thomas Johnson Vice Chair Brenda Davis Secretary Michael T. Genovese Treasurer Sister 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 Year-End Giving Makes a Difference!

There’s still time to make your gift to support Mercy Foundation before the end of the year! Use the enclosed envelope or give securely online at

www.supportmercyfoundation.org Thank you for your generosity!

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