March 2016

Patient gives thanks with generous donations


When Carol fell in August 2013, she was hesitant to call for help, thinking her injury would improve. However, after waiting for a couple of days, she could no longer stand the pain. She called for an ambulance, and it brought her to Swedish Covenant Hospital. She was so grateful that she made that decision, and for the care she received, that she made a generous donation to thank the hospital.

“I was told by Dr. [Ermias] Tilahun that I was close to going into a coma and I believe he saved my life,” Carol said.

In addition to Dr. Tilahun, Carol praises the work of the many nurses and staff that provided care during her stay. The care she received was so exemplary that three years later, she still remembers the names of the nurses who got her back on her feet. Carol knows that there is something special about the nurses at Swedish Covenant Hospital. She said that after spending nine days as an inpatient getting to know them, they felt like friends and she always wanted to return to say “hi.”

Following her discharge, Carol wanted to show her appreciation for the care she received, but she did not know how. When she received a mailing from the hospital, she decided to show her gratitude by making a generous donation.

Last fall, when Carol needed treatment after another fall, she knew she wanted to return to Swedish Covenant Hospital. So appreciative of the care she received from the nurses in the Emergency Department, she chose to increase her donation.

“As you can see, I don’t know any other way of saying ‘thanks for being there for me when I needed help,’” Carol said.

To learn more about the Grateful Patient Program at Swedish Covenant Hospital click here, or contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or

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VNA Foundation funds new prenatal care model


IMG_5369Swedish Covenant Hospital was recently granted funds by VNA Foundation to launch a new model of prenatal care for low-income pregnant women. The new model, called CenteringPregnancy, will launch in the midwifery group this spring. It replaces one-on-one prenatal visits with group sessions to promote greater patient engagement, empowerment, and community-building.

“We are grateful for the generosity and support of VNA Foundation in implementing a new model of care to better serve our patients,” said Rosemary Baldwin, Swedish Covenant Hospital nurse midwife.

The Centering model empowers women by valuing the experience each woman brings to the group, while building knowledge through skill-building and education. Women are better equipped to take control of their health, their pregnancies, and their families. Centering also supports the development of a social network of mothers who can support one another, while reducing the power differential between women and their health care providers.

The mission of the Swedish Covenant Hospital Midwifery Group is to provide outstanding preventive and primary health care, accessible to all in their own communities. They accomplish this by employing 10 Certified Nurse Midwives who specialize in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and well-woman care. The practice provides more than 12,000 outpatient visits and attends 720 births per year. Almost half of the patients seen by the Midwifery Group are Medicaid-eligible or uninsured.

To learn more about Foundation and Corporate Giving at Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation, click here or contact the Foundation at or 773-293-5121.

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Memorial gifts improve pediatric experience


20160212_121229The hospital can be a scary place, especially for our youngest patients. However, with the support of generous donors, hospital nurses and employees are equipped with age-appropriate activities to make the experience a little less scary.

“The difference that bubbles or a light spinner makes when a nurse is trying to place an IV in our pediatric patients is immeasurable,” said Lisa Lozeau, nurse manager for the pediatric unit.

Our pediatric-friendly hospital task force identified a need for age-appropriate activities for children throughout the hospital. In response, generous donors have enabled the hospital to assemble and distribute distraction carts to areas within the hospital that serve pediatric patients. Stocked with tools to distract children undergoing painful procedures, like a blood draw or shot, these carts improve our pediatric patients’ experience in our emergency department, laboratories, and inpatient areas.

The distraction carts were one of two projects made possible by generous donations in memory of local restaurateur, Yoshi Katsumura. Donations also funded the purchase of two bili lights – used to treat jaundice in newborns. Last year, more than 2,000 babies were born at Swedish Covenant Hospital, an increase of 10 percent from 2014. The increase in babies born at Swedish Covenant Hospital caused a strain on the limited number of bili lights to treat the condition. The new lights will allow our obstetrics and pediatric units to effectively treat multiple newborns with jaundice simultaneously.

Mr. Katsumura, chef and owner of the 33-year old Lakeview restaurant Yoshi’s Café, passed away in August 2015 after a long battle with cancer. His wishes were for donations to be given to support pediatric services at Swedish Covenant Hospital in his memory. The generosity of Mr. Katsumura’s friends and family have allowed for his legacy to live on by improving care for the more than 16,000 pediatric patients and newborns who receive services at Swedish Covenant Hospital each year.

“We extend our deepest gratitude for those who have donated to support pediatric services in honor of Yoshi Katsumura. It is such a kind gesture and an honorable way to keep his memory alive. Our patients and staff are incredibly appreciative of the support,” Lisa said.

To learn more about memorial donations at Swedish Covenant Hospital, click here or contact the Foundation at, or 773-293-5121.

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Technology to enhance medical education


Swedish Covenant Hospital has a long history as a training center for residents and medical students. In fact, the residency program is the second oldest in the city of Chicago. Our residents, along with physicians, oversee 40-50 medical students rotating through the hospital and affiliated primary care centers per month. To improve the training of medical students and residents, donations have funded the purchase of technology to improve the way students and residents observe ophthalmic surgeries.

Surgeries of the eye are microscopic, which makes observation by students difficult without advanced technology. Residents, as well as medical students from St. George’s, University of London are required to observe several ophthalmic surgeries during their training. Funds will purchase new video equipment, so that that residents and medical students can gain the most from their surgical experiences.

The new digital camera will attach to a microscope and project on a monitor creating the opportunity for medical students and residents to observe even the most intricate ophthalmic surgical procedures such as cataract removal, glaucoma correction and corneal surgery.

The equipment also has a second benefit: it will allow the surgical staff to more closely follow the procedure and anticipate the surgeon’s needs, thereby improving patient safety and outcomes.

To learn more about supporting medical and nursing education at Swedish Covenant Hospital click here or contact the Foundation at or (773) 291-5121.

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