December 2015

Tax-Free Distributions to Charity from IRAs Now Available


Congress has just extended the IRA charitable rollover provisions for 2015 and beyond. For those who are 70½ or older, any amount up to $100,000 can be distributed tax-free from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to Swedish Covenant Hospital or your other favorite charities through December 31, 2015—and because Congress did not include an expiration date on these provisions, similar distributions can be made in future years as well. This amount can count toward your required minimum distribution for the year in which the distribution is made. Although these distributions are not deductible as charitable contributions on your income tax return, they impact your taxes because they are not treated as taxable income to you.

Here’s How It Works:

  • You must be 70½ or older at the time of distribution.
  • You may distribute any amount up to $100,000 in a calendar year to charity, as long it is completed by December 31 of the year in which you intend to make the charitable distribution.
  • Your IRA administrator must make the distribution directly to the charity, or you may write a check payable to the charity from your IRA checkbook.


Certain restrictions and requirements must be followed when making this type of gift. Before proceeding, you should also consult with your tax advisor to discuss your particular situation including any impact of your state’s tax laws. For more information, click here or contact Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation at 773-293-8877 or

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Retired employee’s legacy gift to provide care for uninsured


Mildred Bronstein (pictured left) leaves behind a rich legacy of kindness and generosity at Swedish Covenant Hospital. A retired nurse, Mildred was known for starting an annual Christmas party at the hospital for children from poor families. She cared so deeply for the patients of Swedish Covenant Hospital that she chose to make a generous bequest.

Mildred worked for Swedish Covenant Hospital for more than 30 years, starting out in the Emergency Department and then moving to the Family Practice Center, where she would become the head nurse. She retired in 1990 at the age of 71, but continued to volunteer for the Christmas party for several more years.

“When mom moved over to the Family Practice Center, she fell in love with the patients, particularly the little ones. She was always interested in their stories and their situations,” Mildred’s daughter, Linda McCabe said.

Because many of the children that Mildred cared for were on public aid, she wanted to make sure they had a special Christmas. For 25 years, Mildred coordinated entertainment by a local theater group, refreshments, goody bags, and a visit from Santa. Mildred recruited volunteers to dress as clowns and lead sing-alongs. She even recruited Linda to do face painting and cousin Earl to play Santa.

Linda recalls the joy her mother found in holding these parties and collecting items for the kids’ goody bags. What started modestly by collecting donations from hospital departments – like snacks from the cafeteria or a toothbrush from the dentists, grew each year. Later, when she began soliciting businesses, she would call with excitement to tell Linda about something new that she had just secured whether books, dinosaurs, or huge teddy bears.

“You should see these children faces when they would be given bag of stuff bigger than they were,” Linda said.

The annual Christmas party for patients of the Family Practice Center was the “masterpiece of Mildred’s life,” according to Linda. And, while the party may be what she is best remembered for during her days at Swedish Covenant Hospital, Mildred thought of ways to help her patients throughout the year. She often talked about her compassion for immigrant families, because she could relate, and young single mothers.

For Mildred, Swedish Covenant Hospital was a special place. In addition to caring deeply for her patients, she truly enjoyed working for the hospital because of her coworkers and the culture.

“Swedish Covenant wasn’t just somewhere where mom left and went away to, it was part of our family,” Linda said.

Because of her deep affection for Swedish Covenant Hospital and its patients, Mildred chose to make a generous estate gift to provide care for those who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The funds will be used to help uninsured women access mammograms at Swedish Covenant Hospital; last year, Swedish Covenant Hospital provided 856 free or low cost mammograms.

Mildred passed away in April at the age of 95.

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

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Women’s Health Center celebrates first anniversary


“As the elevator opened on the fourth floor, I was suddenly distracted with the atmosphere of peace and tranquility,” Sonia Batts said of her experience in the Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center.

Sonia is one of the more than 13,000 women who have received care in the Women’s Health Center since its opening in October 2014.

“This place is just gorgeous and it is soothing to us women. This place is where we are able to relax our minds and our physical being,” Sonia said. “You never know what someone who steps in here is going through, and to be able to comfort them for an hour or moments will never be forgotten.”

In its first year, the center has provided 11,832 mammograms, 856 of which have been provided free or at a low cost, thanks to generous support of grant funds. In addition, 658 women have received breast biopsies, 1,958 women have received bone density tests, 115 women have received lactation support and more than 37 support groups have been held in the Health Resource Center.

Through the Women’s Care Fund, a fund set up as part of the Women’s Health Initiative, the center has hosted small events with the Vietnamese Association of Illinois and the Ecuadorian consulate to provide mammograms and massages. These small events created access to care for our diverse community while allowing women to feel more comfortable while receiving their mammograms with their support networks. As a result, women needing further diagnostic testing were identified and connected to providers for follow-up care. Funds from the Women’s Care Fund helped to provide translations services and transportation for the event.

“Words cannot describe how thankful I am personally for how you treated my fellow countrymen during the mammogram event in August. You are not only providing preventive care to them, but treating immigrant women with respect and dignity. You are wonderful,” Catalina Landivar, AICP, Vice Consul, Consulate of Ecuador in Chicago commented on the event.

To learn more about the Woman’s Care Fund or to make a gift, contact the Foundation at or (773) 293-5121, or go to

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Dennis Hammer appointed Chairman of Foundation Board


In September, Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation named Dennis Hammer Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dennis has served on the Foundation board since 2012..

“The Foundation is honored to welcome Dennis to this new role. As a community business leader, Dennis brings a valued perspective as we expand our philanthropic efforts to enhance healthcare for the community,” said Jennifer Tscherney, executive director of Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation.

Read on to learn more about Dennis’ experience with Swedish Covenant Hospital and his vision for the board as he guides the strategic direction for 2016.

What inspired you to become involved with Swedish Covenant Hospital?

I am a lifelong member of the community, and as such, Swedish Covenant Hospital has played an important role in my life. I grew up in the area and I have lived in Sauganash for more than 25 years. All of my family receives their care from Swedish Covenant Hospital.

I became more familiar with Swedish Covenant Hospital through my involvement with the local chambers of commerce, where I met CEO Mark Newton and hospital staff. I appreciated Mark’s vision for the hospital and it became apparent that a role with the Foundation board would be a great fit.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your three years of board service?

I am most proud of how the Foundation has made a direct impact in the lives of patients and the community. Three specific projects come to mind. First, the funding of Solo Step technology, which helps inpatients in rehabilitation stand and walk without having to worry about loss of balance and falling. Second, The Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center, which increases access to health care for all women in our community and provides a warm and inviting setting that they deserve. And, most recently, our program to address violence against women in our community. Each of these projects is very topical in today’s society and offers our community access to exemplary care close to home.

As a member of the community, what do you see as its greatest needs?

Over the years, I have observed the community change and grow to the diverse and multicultural community it is today. As we welcome new immigrants into our community, it is important for Swedish Covenant Hospital to respect this diversity and meet the needs of all of its neighbors.

What role do you see the Foundation playing in addressing the community needs?

The Foundation funds projects and programs that elevate the hospital – like the Women’s Health Center and Violence Against Women program, mentioned previously. We do this by responding to the needs of the hospital at the request of medical staff and administration.

This year, the Foundation funded a Community Health Needs Assessment, produced in partnership with Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council and Professional Research Consultants. The information garnered from this assessment will help shape the priorities of the hospital and will allow the Foundation to align hospital needs with generous contributions from our supporters.

As board chair, what is your vision for the Foundation?

During my term as board chair, I would like to continue momentum to make the Foundation of major relevance to the hospital by growing the endowment as well as the Foundation itself.  We can achieve this by recruiting a strong board that reflects the community and focusing on transformational gifts.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a big sports fan and enjoy cheering on my Chicago teams – Cubs, Hawks and the Bears.

Music is another love of mine. My son and I attend one concert per year; last year our one concert was AC/DC at Wrigley Field.

I enjoy spending time with my family, including my wife, Sandra and children. In addition to my 26-year-old son who also lives in the community, I have a 24-year-old daughter who lives in Virginia.


The Foundation would like to thank Paul Hawkinson for his years of service and leadership as the immediate past chairman.

In addition, the Foundation welcomes Barbara Johnson to the Board of Directors.

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Bequest Gift from Alyce Chrystall Supports Nurses


Alyce loved to help. Whether it was assisting on her Father’s cattle ranch or caring for her seven brothers and sisters, Alyce felt she was put on this Earth to serve others. It’s only natural then, that after her passing, Alyce is still making a difference in the lives of others. Thanks to the generosity of Alyce and her granddaughter, Karin Hockman, five SCH nurses working toward their advanced degrees have been awarded an Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship to help defray their education costs.

As a little girl growing up on a large cattle ranch in Nebraska, Alyce was known as the caring one of the family; she would often tend to sick animals or help her parents care for her seven siblings. According to Karin, it was Alyce’s nurturing nature that prompted her older brother to pay for her to attend nursing school in Minnesota when she was only 18 years old.  Alone and determined, Alyce graduated from the Swedish Hospital School of Nursing with the dream of serving others and helping those in need.

Nursing was Alyce’s calling, which inspired her career and volunteer choices throughout her life.  Over her 61-year career, she practiced clinical and surgical nursing, worked as I.V. Therapist, an Industrial Nurse, and Personal Secretary, opened an Employee Health Clinic and worked for the Visiting Nurses Association. She retired from the nursing field at age 81, but stayed active by volunteering her time and energy to faith-based, service and social organizations well into her 90’s.

It was Alyce’s mission to serve and care for people.  Karin recounts that Alyce, “…was led by her faith and walked in in great humility and unconditional love for everyone she met. She found the good in all things.” As an act of her lasting generosity and compassion, Karin continued Alyce’s legacy by establishing the Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship at Swedish Covenant Health. Karin was impressed with SCH’s active Nurse Alumnae Association and their strong commitment to nursing education scholarships, our continued support of staff professional development, and our affiliation with North Park University’s School of Nursing.  As Karin explains, “Nursing was the heart of Alyce; it defined her. Creating scholarships to help others become nurses was what Alyce would have wanted. I knew SCH  was the place.”

The 5 winners of the Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship are: Colleen Jennings, OB Charge Nurse, Sommar Johnson, RN, BSN, CCRN , Dane Ligas, BSN, Bianca Pirvu, BSN and Gerelmaa Budmandakh, MSN

To the recipients of Alyce’s generosity, the scholarships are life-changing. According to Sommar Johnson, “This has changed my life and decreased my financial stress. Now I can focus more on school and work. I hope to one day give back and provide someone with the same opportunity I was given.” Colleen Jennings agrees. Feeling humbled and honored to be a recipient, she notes that “this scholarship will allow me to finish my BSN.  It has been a long process due to financial reasons and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.  I hope to make Alyce Chrystall proud.” Karin awarded the scholarships during a ceremony in May, at which time she commented that it was Alyce’s wish to make a lasting impact on the nursing profession.  Her generous act of assisting five nurses obtain advanced degrees and certifications will better the healthcare of thousands of future patients. For more information on ways to support the scholarship program at SCH, please contact the Foundation at: or (773) 293-5121

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