Horizons - Summer 2014

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Summer 2014 M e r c y f o u n d at i o n


Inspiring Philanthropy. Changing Lives.

The kindness of caregivers | 4

President’s message This year, Mercy Foundation celebrates 60 years partnering with the community to support the local ministries of the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1954, Mercy Foundation has been helping generous donors achieve their philanthropic goals and make a profound impact on those in need. I have seen firsthand the impact of this generosity, and cannot fully express how meaningful and moving that has been. Since the Sisters first arrived in Sacramento more than 150 years ago, they have never lost sight of their mission and we thank you for being a partner in their legacy.

Celebrating 60 years Mercy Foundation: 1954 until the end of need This year, Mercy Foundation celebrates six decades partnering with the community to raise philanthropic support enhancing the lives of people in the greater Sacramento area. In that time, donors like you have made more than $100 million in charitable gifts! Founded in 1954, Mercy Foundation traces its origins back even further—to the Sisters of Mercy’s 1857 arrival in Sacramento. Soon after establishing a Catholic school for children, the Sisters began caring for the sick, which was the start of their health care mission in the region. Forty years later, they opened their first hospital in Sacramento near 22nd and R Streets, Mater Misericordiae (Latin for “Mother of Mercy”) Hospital. For many decades, fundraising took place on a project-by-project basis. The seeds for a more formal fundraising structure were sown in 1951, when a study showed the Sacramento community faced a critical hospital-bed shortage. At Mercy Hospital—now Continued on page 2

We are also celebrating the arrival of Laurie Harting as Dignity Health’s new senior vice president of operations for the Greater Sacramento Service Area. With more than 30 years of health care experience, and a track record of active community involvement, she is a strong advocate for philanthropy. As a board member of Mercy Foundation, Laurie will serve an important role, advancing the vision of our health care ministry—a vision based on meeting the needs of our community. Thank you for your continued support, and may you enjoy these summer days!

President and CEO

Ministry News

M e r c y f o u n d at i o n

Mercy General Hospital—philanthropic support brought about the addition of a 115-bed wing. Out of this shared effort between the community, its political leadership, and the Sisters of Mercy, came the founding of Mercy Foundation. The first Board President, Fred Read—grandfather of current board chair, Mark Read—made this commitment to the community: “We invite participation from everyone, and Mercy Foundation will see that all donations, large or small, will be devoted to the purpose intended by the donor.” In the 1980s, Mercy Foundation evolved into its present form, when it moved from being an exclusively health care focused philanthropic organization to a Congregational Foundation that supports all the local Sisters’ works.

Over the years, Mercy Foundation and its community partners have achieved numerous philanthropic successes ranging from large capital projects to meeting the everyday needs of the underserved. One of several worthy projects Mercy Foundation is currently raising funds for is a new campus for Cristo Rey High School Sacramento, a school that transforms both the lives of students it serves and those who share in its mission. Sister Eileen Enright, RSM, president of Cristo Rey High School, visits with students.

Inspired by the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Foundation’s objective—yesterday, today, and until the end of need— continues to be to partner with the community to help to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate the underserved, and care for the sick at local Dignity Health hospitals and clinics.

Mercy Foundation Annual Meeting Mercy Foundation Board members celebrated 60 years of service with volunteers and friends at the 2014 Annual Meeting on June 12. Shown here (clockwise from above): Sister Katherine Doyle, RSM (left), and Sister Bridget McCarthy, RSM (right), welcome Laurie Harting, Dignity Health’s new senior vice president of operations for the Greater Sacramento Service Area; Rodney and Mary Louise Klein, Ralph Cox and Oleta Lambert enjoy catching up with one another; Stan Atkinson and Kelly Brothers join Kevin Duggan, Mercy Foundation president, as program hosts.


The Sisters of Mercy

M e r c y f o u n d at i o n

Sister Bridget McCarthy: Lighting the way

“Our task is not to fight against the forces of change,” said Sister Bridget McCarthy, RSM, in a 1995 Mercy Foundation newsletter article, “but rather to find ways of making the changes work for us and our patients.” A very visionary comment in light of today’s rapidly changing health care environment. Sister Bridget (pictured above), vice president of mission integration for Dignity Health’s Greater Sacramento Service Area, has always shown by example her willingness to change with the times while remaining true to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy. Through

a long relationship with both Mercy Foundation and Dignity Health, she continues to make community outreach and philanthropy an important part of her day-to-day work. “Whether it’s philanthropic support through Mercy Foundation, our annual Community Benefit grants, or providing direct care to those in need day in and day out, our legacy remains the same: To serve with compassion those who are in need,” says Sister Bridget. Sister Bridget’s leadership path with Dignity Health began in the late 1970s during her time as a critical care nurse at Mercy San Juan Medical Center. “The call came from my community requesting Sisters to pursue graduate education in preparation for hospital leadership,” says Sister Bridget, “so I responded by pursuing a master’s degree in health administration and planning.” In the mid-1980s, Sister Bridget was asked to serve as Mercy General Hospital’s

chief executive officer. Since then, her leadership resume has only grown. To name a few: President and chief executive officer of Mercy Healthcare Sacramento, then a fledgling regional system within the newly formed Catholic Healthcare West (now Dignity Health); president and chief executive officer of Mercy Foundation; and, most recently, interim senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health’s Greater Sacramento Service Area. In addition to her long and fruitful career in health care, this summer Sister Bridget also plans to quietly celebrate an important milestone: her Jubilee of Religious Profession, 50 years of service as a vowed Sister of Mercy. Always a picture of contrasts—more comfortable out of the limelight, yet serving in so many ways as a guiding force for Mercy Foundation and Dignity Health—Sister Bridget is universally regarded as someone who cares for those in need and displays a generosity of spirit … qualities that will continue to light the way ahead for all of us.

Blessing for Sisters of Mercy Hermitage The Sisters of Mercy and supporters gathered on July 9 for the blessing of Catherine’s Cottage, the new hermitage at the Mercy Retreat Center. Mercy Foundation partnered with friends and donors to raise more than $500,000 to help build a hermitage that will benefit not only the Sisters of Mercy, but many others who seek solitude and reflection. The site takes advantage of the peace and beauty of the grounds to help nurture and heal the soul. Shown here are lead donor Thelma Martin (left) and Sister Bridget McCarthy, RSM.


Partners in Philanthropy

M e r c y f o u n d at i o n

Touched by the kindness of caregivers: One grateful family gives back to Mercy San Juan NICU Baby Zoey came into this world far too soon and far too fragile. Born at just 26 weeks and weighing a scant 2 pounds, she was also an answer to the prayers of a family thousands of miles away. “I really believe that God brought this tiny premature baby to me so that I could care for her,” says Minnesota resident Tammie Krebsbach. Tammie and her husband, Tom, had been trying for years to have a baby, enduring nine miscarriages. When they got the call in February that a tiny baby girl in need of a family had been born at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, they did not hesitate. They jumped on a plane and flew across the country. Tammie was not prepared for what awaited her. “I was shocked—she was just so small. But she was doing really, really well.” In fact, other than an anemia scare that required a blood transfusion, Baby Zoey encountered few of the complications that can plague babies born so early. Nonetheless, it would be three and a half months before Zoey and the Krebsbachs would be able to fly home to Minnesota. During those long months, Tammie spent 12 or more hours a day at the Mercy San Juan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “The nurses, the therapists, the doctors—they really became a part of our family. If I ever had to [have a baby in the NICU] again, I would absolutely choose to be at Mercy San Juan.” The Krebsbachs quickly decided to make a charitable donation in support of the NICU. “We knew we wanted to make a difference for the doctors and the nurses who helped us, and for all the families served by the NICU.”

Tammie Krebsbach holds her daughter, Zoey, for the first time in the Mercy San Juan NICU.

Through Mercy Foundation, the Krebsbachs designated their $10,000 gift to the Mercy San Juan NICU. Zoey’s Grandma Krebsbach, touched by the extra effort the nursing staff showed in caring for her granddaughter, matched that gift with an additional $10,000. Their generosity will impact many families in the future by providing items such as rocking chairs, a new baby scale, additional “bili blankets” to treat infants with jaundice, and gift cards to help other families with babies facing lengthy hospitalizations. Today Zoey is a healthy and thriving five month old, at home with her family in Minnesota. For her mother, the memory of caregivers thousands of miles away still brings tears to her eyes. “The kindness of each and every person in the Mercy San Juan NICU still amazes me.” At 5 months old, Zoey Krebsbach is healthy and thriving.


“We knew we wanted to make a difference for the doctors and the nurses who helped us, and for all the families served by the NICU.” – Tammie Krebsbach

Longtime employee supports mission of service at Mercy General Hospital For nearly 30 years, Neal Cardosa has spent his days serving the patients and staff of Mercy General Hospital. “This is a very special place, with great people. It’s really become my work home over the years.” After beginning his career at Mercy General in August 1984 as a staff pharmacist, Neal worked his way into the role of pharmacy manager. “I am lucky that I like and respect the people I work with every day,” Neal says. “Our team in the pharmacy is small, but we all get along really well and enjoy each other’s company.” Neal also feels a strong connection to the mission of service that is brought to life at Mercy General. “Being able to help people and serve not only our patients, but also our staff as they provide care, is really rewarding to me. The mission of Mercy General and the sense of service you feel here is unique.”

Neal Cardosa at Mercy General Hospital.

It is that sense of service that led Neal to pursue employee giving opportunities through Mercy Foundation’s Employees Lend a Hand program. Over the past three years, Neal has given an impressive $18,000 through the donation of accumulated hours for paid time off (PTO). His generous giving has supported several programs at Mercy General, including the Emergency Department lobby renovation, the Outdoor Acute Rehabilitation project and the area of greatest need. Improving the place that has been such a vital part of his life for the past 30 years is a natural choice for Neal. “I have invested a significant amount of myself into Mercy General and take satisfaction in the hospital’s success. Improving Mercy General simply by donating PTO is really a win-win.”

25 years of serving the tiniest patients For 25 years, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercy San Juan Medical Center has cared for the most fragile patients. While the NICU has grown over the years, the patients it serves have gotten smaller. “When the unit opened in 1989, the smallest babies were born at 25 or 26 weeks,” says Robert Kahle, MD, Mercy San Juan NICU medical director. “Today we care for babies born as early as 23 to 24 weeks. By next year, that may be 22 weeks.” The NICU opened at Mercy San Juan as a six-bed unit with only one neonatologist—Dr. Kahle. Technology was minimal, including conventional ventilators and monitors. With help from donors like you and the Friends of NICU, today the unit is 26 beds, the team has expanded to seven neonatologists and new technology has arrived. “We now have high frequency ventilators and inhaled nitrous oxide, and programs like Total Body Cooling to help babies who are at risk of brain injury from distress at delivery,” says Dr. Kahle. “All of that equipment means that our small unit has become increasingly cramped, especially for parents or other visitors.” Mercy Foundation donors will play an important role in future growth opportunities for the nationally recognized NICU. In the last 10 years alone, the NICU has cared for more than 4,000 tiny patients. With the continuing increase in community demand for neonatal services, and a unit that is often full to capacity, the care team needs more space to accommodate their specialty’s growing technology and their high patient volume. “Our NICU has very good outcomes and is consistently ranked among the best in the country,” says Dr. Kahle. “What is so special is the collaboration and teamwork—the nurses, the therapists, the dietitians, social workers … our team at Mercy San Juan is exceptional.”


Donations in Action

M e r c y f o u n d at i o n

Addressing a growing need among seniors For more than 20 years, Mercy McMahon Terrace has provided a community for Sacramento area seniors who are in need of care and support but still wish to live independently. Mercy McMahon Terrace brings to life the Sisters of Mercy mission to care for the elderly. In recent years, however, Mercy McMahon Terrace staff have identified a growing need: The need for licensed memory care. Mercy McMahon Terrace residents whose cognitive abilities have declined and whose care needs have changed often have no choice but to relocate to a different community offering memory care, which can be disruptive and upsetting to affected residents and their families—especially for spouses who can no longer remain together. “It is very difficult for local families to find high-quality care for those living with dementia,” says Joe Dunham, executive director of Mercy McMahon Terrace. “We believe Mercy McMahon Terrace can provide the care that is so needed in our community.” Mercy McMahon Terrace is embarking on a project to meet this need by opening a licensed memory care unit, capable of serving up to 23 residents. The new memory care unit is made possible by a Mercy Foundation fundraising effort that has raised more than $645,000 thus far, including a lead gift by Ritz Naygrow—a Sacramento resident and faithful supporter of the Sisters of Mercy’s ministries—in honor of his late wife, June.

The new memory care unit is made possible by a Mercy Foundation fundraising effort that has raised more than $645,000 thus far.

The goal is to not only offer memory care to all within the Sacramento community, but also to ensure that current residents needing this Executive Director Joe Dunham looks forward specialized care will no longer be to providing much needed licensed memory forced to live elsewhere to receive care at Mercy McMahon Terrace. it … and spouses will not have to be separated to receive different levels of care. While construction plans are being finalized (the unit will be built within the existing Mercy McMahon Terrace facility), Joe and his team are formulating an operations plan and developing the policies and procedures necessary to ensure the unit’s success. “Our plan is to put together a solid program so we can hit the ground running.” The Mercy McMahon Memory Care Unit is slated to open in 2015. To join other donors in support of this important project, call Mercy Foundation at (916) 851-2700.

Leaving a legacy You can create a legacy by making a planned gift to Mercy Foundation to support a Sisters of Mercy ministry or program of most importance to you. Some plans can increase your cash flow, offer valuable income-tax deductions, and reduce or eliminate estate taxes. Your planned gift will help provide health care, education, affordable housing and other vital services for those in need. If you have included Mercy Foundation in your estate plan, please let us know so we can thank you and recognize you with membership in the Mercy Legacy Society. For more information about making a planned gift, or to request a personal gift illustration, please call Kevin Duggan at (916) 851-2703. You can also visit the Planned Giving section of our Web site at SupportMercyFoundation.org.


Mercy Cancer Center Children’s Art Therapy Program Children living with parents who have been diagnosed with cancer often face confusion about their parent’s illness and fear about their family’s future. As a parent, helping your child while also facing cancer can be overwhelming. As part of its ongoing commitment to provide comprehensive support for patients living with cancer, Mercy Cancer Center has created a program to assist children as they navigate a parent’s diagnosis and treatment. The Children’s Art Therapy Program is a six-week program using art as a means to help children cope with the uncertainty associated with a cancer diagnosis. The program was made possible by a generous gift to Mercy Foundation from Brian Sherman, a Dignity Health employee whose own family was impacted when his nephew lost his battle with cancer at the age of 10. “I wanted to provide something that would impact children and impact cancer patients in a very positive way,” Brian says. “The idea that we could help someone experiencing the devastating effect of a cancer diagnosis—it seemed like the perfect way to memorialize my nephew.” Vanessa Borough, a Dignity Health nurse navigator at the Mercy Cancer Center, and Eryn Barrett, a marriage and family therapy intern from Pacific Trauma of Folsom, facilitate each six-week session. The program’s first class had six young participants. “What we see is that the kids come in with preconceived notions about cancer that are incorrect and damaging,” explains Vanessa. “For example, 'If my mother chose to fight she would live,' or 'I caused my mother to get cancer because I was bad.'” The counselors provide honest feedback and support to children through education and art therapy. This provides an important opportunity for the children to ask tough questions without fear of upsetting the family. “The children do not express their anger or process their feelings because they want to protect their parents,” says Eryn. “Art therapy is the beginning of finding a voice to express unspeakable thoughts and feelings.” Thanks to Brian’s major gift, and the ongoing financial support of other Mercy Foundation donors, the Mercy Cancer Center Children’s Art Therapy Program will be offered four times a year.

Make a difference today To learn more about the many ways you can support the projects highlighted in this newsletter, as well as the other works of the Sisters of Mercy, please call Mercy Foundation at (916) 851-2700.

Vanessa Borough, Mercy Cancer Center nurse navigator, presents artwork to Brian and Shannon Sherman, whose gift to Mercy Foundation funded an art therapy program for children whose parents are undergoing cancer treatment. Vanessa helps facilitate the program. The artwork was created by a 5-year-old girl, who participated in Mercy Cancer Center's art therapy program.


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

2014–15 Mercy Foundation Board of Trustees Officers


Mark Read Chair

Jose Abad, MD Gene Bassett Brenda W. Davis Costanzo DiPerna, MD Roxanne Elliott Sr. Eileen Enright, RSM Michael T. Genovese Laurie Harting Brian Ivie Garry P. Maisel Janak Mehtani, MD Careyann Morris Tim Rogers Inder Singh, MD John Stevenson, MD Merrily Wong William W. Yee

Linda Van Rees Vice Chair Terry Street Secretary Alan Shatzel, DO Treasurer Sr. Katherine Doyle, RSM Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community Representative 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.

Mercy Medical Group golf tournament benefits Mercy Foundation Mercy Medical Group held its second annual golf tournament at Empire Ranch Golf Club on May 31 to benefit those in need throughout the Sacramento region through Mercy Foundation. More than $16,600 was raised to benefit four local ministries supported by Mercy Foundation: Mercy Housing, MercyClinic Loaves & Fishes, Sacramento Loaves & Fishes and Cristo Rey High School Sacramento. The tournament was born out of Mercy Medical Group’s desire to partner with Mercy Foundation to give back to the community. Many thanks to sponsors, participants and everyone involved at Mercy Medical Group for your support and generosity. Ready to hit the links (from left): Adam Berman, vice president, Mercy Medical Group; Benjamin Balatbat; Celynne Balatbat; and Ben Balatbat, MD, department chair, Internal Medicine, Mercy Medical Group.

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