March 2015

Emeritus physician’s estate giving honors family legacy


For Dr. Sharukin Rami “Sam” Yelda, Swedish Covenant Hospital has been an integral part of his family’s life for more than 40 years. He credits the hospital for the success he enjoyed during his 27-year career as an orthopedic surgeon and 10-year tenure as chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Even more, Dr. Yelda is grateful to Swedish Covenant Hospital for his marriage – he met his wife, Beth, at the hospital more than 30 years ago.

The Yelda family – Dr. Yelda, his wife Beth, his mother Jeannette, and his sisters Flora and the late Laura (who passed away in 1997) – have established a proud legacy of philanthropy at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Retired since 2000, Dr. Yelda and his family continue to be involved with the hospital as benefactors. Because of the family’s deep connection to the hospital and its mission, they established an incredibly generous trust to provide for Swedish Covenant Hospital’s future.

“We don’t have children, so it was important that our estate go to a good place,” Dr. Yelda said. “The hospital was always a priority for us. I worked here, took care of people here, met people here and good bonds were developed with this hospital. We feel at home here. The patients, doctors, employees and nurses are like our extended family.”

The Yeldas believe the hospital provides patients with excellent nursing care, cutting-edge technology and a beautiful healing environment. “This is a good hospital giving good medical care to its patients, and I wanted to help expand that,” Dr. Yelda said.

To learn more about planned giving, contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or, or visit the planned giving website.

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Artist-in-Residence program provides healing through art

Fibonacci sequence project  

Patsy Echols found art to be an important part of her healing process during her stay on the Swedish Covenant Hospital rehabilitation unit. She credits her participation in the Artist-in-Residence program for helping to brighten her outlook.

“Art got me outside of myself, I was grateful to use my creative side,” Patsy said.

A systems analyst and minister at her church, Patsy incorporated an analytical approach to the creation of her art project, a Fibonacci sequence. She also used her creativity to approach the art in unique ways. She contemplated color and composition. She was also challenged with facing her physical limitations and learned to create art in spite of these limitations.

It was through this process, and her faith, that she found hope.

“Instead of focusing on my illness, I was glad to focus on possibilities,” Patsy said.

The Artist-in-Residence program provides the opportunity for patients to experience the healing and therapeutic power of the creative process. Creating art allows people to be active in their healing process and can serve as a way to visualize emotions and experiences.

The most compelling aspect of the Artist-in-Residence program happens during the interactions between patients, therapists, other clinicians, and the artist. Each week, the Artist-in-Residence, Kari Lindholm-Johnson, facilitates group sessions for inpatients on the rehab, extended care, and psychiatry units. She also visits with patients on an individual basis upon staff referral. Most participants often have little to no experience with art making, but through the group sessions, they are able to experiment with different art materials and may experience positive outcomes such as pain reduction, increased physical stamina, decreased stress levels, and engagement in various types of community and social interactions.

"Hand Iris"

“Hand Iris”

The Fibonacci sequence project challenges patients to create repeating patterns. Patients are then able to take home these individual pieces of art, which document a moment in time for the patients during the healing process and can be especially meaningful.

In addition to individual art projects, like the Fibonacci sequence, patients also create collaborative art projects that connect individual expression with the healing process, including “Hand Iris.” In this original idea for “Hand Iris,” Kari rolled a wheelchair over canvas to paint the stems and leaves. Patients then painted the irises by dipping the side of their gloved hand into white paint and making imprints on the canvas, which exercised fine motor skills and gross motor skills. It also provided an opportunity for patients to connect with other patients on their unit.

“As we made this painting, emphasis was placed on the fact that in the rehab process, we learn to do things in new ways, and utilize creative thinking for how to live life,” Kari said. “A wheelchair and hands were used in new ways to create beauty and engagement with one another.”

The Artist-in-Residence program is fully funded through the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation. To learn more about the Artist-in-Residence program, or to support the program, contact the Foundation at or (773) 293-5121, or go to

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Ken Norgan continues family’s tradition of giving


From a young age, Ken Norgan remembers his family’s involvement with philanthropy. It is no surprise, then, that after a long career of owning and operating McDonald’s franchises in Chicago’s north suburbs, Ken has continued his family’s tradition and found his own passion in giving back.

Ken’s parents were among the first McDonald’s owners in the late-1950s, at which time Ken began his career with McDonald’s flipping burgers and working the fryer. Thirteen years later, in 1971, after receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees in linguistics from University of Michigan, Ken took over the family business. His interest in charity grew and he became involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities. It was through his involvement with this charity that he learned about Swedish Covenant Hospital.

In the late 1990s Ken was a member of the committee at Ronald McDonald House Charities that granted funds for the pediatric playroom at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

Ken is drawn to organizations that are making a direct impact – and he recognized this in Swedish Covenant Hospital.

“I’m fascinated by the diversity and cultures served by Swedish Covenant Hospital. As a safety net hospital, it does a wonderful job of meeting the needs of such a diverse community,” Ken said.

A member of Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation Board of Directors since 2008, Ken has been integral in making important projects like the Swedish Covenant Hospital Healing Garden and the Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center possible. The center is part of the Women’s Health Initiative, which aims to increase access to care for women in the community.

“I saw the Women’s Health Initiative as wonderful effort by Swedish Covenant Hospital and a genuine effort to address a specific community,” Ken said.

Ken is proud to serve the Swedish Covenant Hospital community through board service. In particular, he is inspired by projects that are created to meet the needs of the diverse community and vulnerable populations. He also appreciates the opportunity to learn more about the changing health care landscape.

In addition to Swedish Covenant Hospital, Ken has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville since 1995, and is on the Board of Directors of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. He is a former board member of Common Threads, the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

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Coleman Foundation funds Integrated Cancer Care

Jeff Ball and Family  

Jeff Ball is a firm believer in the benefits of an integrated approach to cancer care. As a cancer survivor himself, Jeff has made significant changes to his lifestyle, including adopting a pescetarian diet, regular exercise, meditation, and counseling. According to Jeff, these lifestyle changes have helped him to feel his healthiest – despite his diagnosis.

“When I was first diagnosed, I was taking many prescriptions for pain. But, through diet changes and exercise, the pain isn’t nearly as bad and I’m able to control my inflammation without medication,” Jeff said.

Through Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Center for Advanced Therapy in Cancer, Hematology, and Infusion (CATC), the Integrated Cancer Care program provides a holistic approach to meeting the needs of cancer survivors. From the point of diagnosis, the program enhances health and well-being to lessen the adverse effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Services within the program aim to reduce stress, enhance quality of life and mood, increase treatment adherence, and reduce the onset and severity of weight loss.

The Integrated Cancer Care Navigator, Kayla Innis, MSW, LSW, meets with each participant to provide education and support and to determine which services will be the greatest benefit for each patient. Available services through the program include exercise and fitness programming at Galter LifeCenter; integrative therapies including massage, acupuncture and water shiatsu; education and social support groups; stress reduction training; and nutrition assessments and counseling. The program is provided at no cost to participants, thanks to funds granted by the Coleman Foundation.

Because of Jeff’s experience with integrated care, he is serving on the patient advisory committee for the Integrated Cancer Care program in order to help other patients at Swedish Covenant Hospital access some of the same benefits he has experienced.

One of these patients is Magylyn Buduan, who began participating in the program in December 2014 at the invitation of oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Cilley. Prior to her diagnosis, Magylyn enjoyed exercising – from walking and running to yoga. After joining the Integrated Cancer Care program, Magylyn began exercising again with the help of programming at Galter LifeCenter. She believes that the exercise programming benefits more than just her physical health.

“Since I’ve been in program, it’s given me something to look forward to. I have more energy and I feel like I have a purpose,” Magylyn said. “I go to Galter LifeCenter and meet people and many of us share the same experiences.”

She has also experienced benefits from a massage received through the program and has scheduled her second massage the day before her next round of chemotherapy.

The Integrated Cancer Care program is open to all cancer survivors, regardless of whether they receive treatment at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

To learn more about Integrated Cancer Care at Swedish Covenant Hospital, or to support the program, contact the Foundation at or (773) 293-5121, or go to

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