Giving should be from the heart according to Ramesh Patel, PharmD, Senior Director of Pharmacy Services and Clinical Research at Swedish Covenant Hospital. It is this philosophy that inspires Dr. Patel to give back to Swedish Covenant Hospital, his employer of 36 years.
Dr. Patel’s commitment to philanthropy stems from his personal beliefs on giving back to the organizations that have made an impact in his life. He is also inspired by his father who taught him the importance of giving, particularly to schools and to health care. “Schools improve humankind and without hospitals, we couldn’t survive,” Dr. Patel said.
When it comes to philanthropy, Dr. Patel believes in leading by example. He hopes other employees give generously for the same cause. He understands that in order for the system to provide the best care for patients in the best environment, philanthropy is necessary. He knows that his support makes a difference for the hospital, and most recently he pledged to support the Women’s Health Initiative.
“We need donations for progress,” Dr. Patel said. “It isn’t patient dollars that pay for facility improvements, it’s donations.”
In addition to his philanthropy, Dr. Patel has made a significant impact on growing and shaping the pharmacy program. He is passionate about teaching future pharmacists patient-centered care and encourages education among his employees.
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As head of the Nursing Division at Swedish Covenant Hospital for 14 years, Barbara M. Jones, understands the value of high quality hospital care. On establishing a charitable gift annuity with the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation, she says, “I have always been impressed with the hospital’s commitment to excellent patient care, their high ethical standards, and the strong staff they have in all areas.”
Barbara entered the nursing profession in the 1950s, graduating from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing ’52, then Wheaton College ’56 (BSN), and then the University of Pittsburgh ’66 (MNEd). A daughter of Welsh immigrants, her parents urged both Barbara and her sister to get a good education and stressed the importance of learning. Over the years, Barbara held a variety of nursing positions. She also taught nursing, and eventually retired as vice president of nursing at Swedish Covenant Hospital in 1995. She says, “There are so many opportunities in nursing to do different and interesting things.”
Currently, Barbara enjoys traveling to hear her favorite opera singer, Welsh bass baritone, Bryn Terfel. She also serves on the boards of local and national Welsh organizations. She was awarded the Dewi Sant award for “outstanding service to the Welsh community,” and the Outstanding Service Award from Kappa Nu Nursing Honor Society at North Park University.
Her gift to Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation will help support nursing through continuing education, advanced degrees and educational technologies. The charitable gift annuity she established shortly after retiring provides her with life-long income while also making a meaningful donation. “The nursing and medical staff are of the highest quality, as are all of the supportive services.” Barbara explains, “If we wish institutions like Swedish Covenant to thrive in the future, it is important that we provide financial support.
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For nearly two decades, Andre Crowder has provided excellent safety, customer service and much more to Swedish Covenant Hospital. Currently serving as a Public Safety Supervisor for the PM shift, Andre loves and admires his colleagues, always looks forward to coming to work and takes every opportunity to share stories of what makes this place so special.
Having suffered the pain and grief of seeing his parents and other relatives pass away from Cancer, he does not want anyone to experience their own or a loved one’s life cut short due to disease. “I’m glad this is an organization whose main concern is based on healing and saving lives.” Andre feels that Swedish Covenant puts people first and has personally felt supported as an employee and well cared for as a patient. This is why he gives to SCH through the employee giving campaign.
Prior to joining Swedish Covenant, Andre worked for the post office and served honorably in the Army. As a lifelong Chicagoan, he is a big fan of the Cubs and Bears and predicts that “this is the year for the Cubbies.” Outside of work, Andre enjoys fishing, bowling and being together with his family. He talks lovingly and often of his wife Grace, who prominently served at the Chicago Police Headquarters for thirty years, his six children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Perhaps it is the sports fan in him, but when opportunities are presented to support SCH programs, Andre wants no part in sitting on the sidelines; he wants to be in the game! Andre and Grace have continuously provided financial gifts to Swedish Covenant Hospital, most recently with a generous payroll deduction pledge toward the Women’s Health Initiative. Filled with compassion and a desire to go the extra mile for the hospital and anyone in need, it is no surprise that Andre has received multiple nominations for the employee STAR award.
In reflecting on their lives and their strong connection to Swedish Covenant, Andre and Grace said, “We both grew up with family who had great dreams and ideas. We were encouraged by our parents to use our hearts and courage to give to a good cause and try and make a difference in the lives of others and not expect something back in return, because living a life to the fullest is our way of redemption.
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