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Eileen M. Hallman Scholarship Benefits Swedish Nurses

 

“I heard this lovely voice speaking to me, and I knew I had to find out more about her.” –Dr. George Hallman.

And so begins the fairy-tale romance of a young nurse, Eileen McKeever, recently graduated from Swedish Covenant Hospital’s School of Nursing, and a 19-yr old airman, George Hallman, injured during the Korean war and rehabilitating at Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago. After a chance encounter at a Hospital telephone booth, George was immediately smitten and spent the next several months trying to win her affection. Eileen, who was adamant about adhering to the hospital policy of not dating patients, eventually gave in to his boyish charms and began secretly dating George until his discharge, almost a year later.

Once wed, they moved from Chicago to Georgia so George could obtain his degree in Psychology. Eileen went back into the field of nursing and together, they welcomed two sons. The family moved once more to South Carolina, where Eileen worked as an Occupational Health Nurse for the next 25 years, and George worked as a University Professor in Psychology. According to George, life for the Hallman family was happy and full of adventure. George and Eileen spent their free time running marathons and triathlons across the globe, including the Boston Marathon three times and two above the Arctic circle.

They were an inseparable couple for 62 years until Eileen passed away in June of 2019.  In a loving tribute to Eileen’s life of generosity, compassion, and service to others, Dr. Hallman created the Eileen M. Hallman Scholarship, an endowed scholarship at Swedish Hospital which will provide tuition assistance to a Swedish nurse seeking to continue his/her education. For Dr. Hallman, Swedish Hospital’s School of Nursing was where Eileen’s passion for nursing began and believes that Eileen would have been delighted to provide that same opportunity to another student nurse.

To learn more about creating a lasting tribute to a loved one, please contact the Foundation office at 773-293-5121, or email at foundation@schosp.org.

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Heritage Society Member Profile: Melody Hansen

 

Nursing has shaped Melody Hansen’s life; she’s spent many years in a hospital setting and couldn’t be happier. Melody is not only a valued member of the Swedish Hospital Volunteer Team but also a member of our Heritage Society, thanks to a generous gift to Swedish in her estate plan. With her future gift Melody is helping to ensure that the hospital will continue to be a place of education and healing for the next generation.  

The call of nursing runs deep through Melody’s blood. Upon graduating high school, Melody immediately started nursing school at Ravenswood Hospital, where she found her life’s passion.  Upon graduation, she was hired as a staff nurse at Ravenswood Hospital and stayed for another 45 years, working in a variety of nursing and supervisory positions. “I love nursing,” Melody explains. “I was born at Ravenswood Hospital, went to nursing school there and would have stayed there the rest of my life if not for its closing in 2002.”

When Ravenswood Hospital closed, Melody really missed the patients and her life’s purpose.  She promptly accepted a position at Kindred Healthcare, where she worked as a Nurse Manager for another 7 years.  Melody retired from nursing in 2010, but couldn’t stop thinking about ways to help others and get back into the hospital setting.

Luckily for Swedish Hospital, Melody lives nearby. As Melody explains, “I retired in the winter and by summer I wanted to go back to the hospital, that was my life. Swedish was close to home and I was a member of the Covenant Church, so I felt a connection with the hospital.” In 2011, she began volunteering for Swedish and has become an important member of the Volunteer Department over the past 9 years. You can find Melody working every Monday in Wound Care, and every Thursday in the Education Department.

When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering at Swedish, Melody is quick to respond, “the staff are very appreciative for what you do, so it makes it very pleasant to work here. I understand how busy the medical and administrative staff are, so I know that anything I do for them is helping. I like to know that I’m making their day less stressful and their life a little easier and I enjoy getting up and having a purpose.”

Melody’s generosity to Swedish doesn’t end with her volunteer service. Melody is also a member of the Swedish Hospital Foundation Heritage Society, a group of loyal donors who name the hospital as a beneficiary in their estate plans. When asked why she plans on giving a gift for the future, Melody explains, “I am giving because I believe in the institution. I see what good things are being done and how committed the doctors and staff are to the patients. I also believe in the programs that the Foundation has supported and fostered. There is a family feel here at Swedish; it feels warm and inviting, and you don’t find that everywhere. I think that the programs you have created are compassionate and care about those less fortunate, and I want to see those continue.”

To learn more about the Heritage Society and planned giving, contact the Foundation team at (773) 293-5121, email us at: foundation@schosp.org, or visit the planned giving website.

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The Integrative Cancer Care Program Provides Healing

 

Amy English knew that she had to do something for herself. With a husband, 2 small children, and a recent diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, life was suddenly overwhelming.  When a friend and fellow cancer patient suggested she look into the Integrative Cancer Care Program (ICCP) at Swedish Covenant Health, Amy didn’t hesitate to become involved. “I realized I had to do something for myself that I could control and getting into programs and classes was something I could do for myself.”

The Integrative Cancer Care Program provides a personalized care plan to support patients through their journey. This can include support from a collaboration of people working with the patient such as social workers, chaplains, integrative health practitioners, integrative and functional medicine physiciansan acupuncturist, massage therapists and personal trainers. Provided free to patients through donations to the SCH Foundation, the ICCP connects people to services they need, making the process easier on a person’s emotional and physical well-being. 

Amy started with a personal trainer and Fundamental Fitness classes.  “The Fundamental Fitness classes provided me with the basics of staying healthy (nutrition, exercise and self-care), and allowed me to put my energies elsewhere; it got me out of the house, gave me an opportunity to meet new people, and actually motivated me to join more classes.”  Amy has since participated in watsu (a form of aqua therapy), which for her, provided a “very soothing and calming environment, where a lot of my tension was released and it felt wonderful to have a full body stretch.”

Amy is also a fan of Mindful Meditation, which helps guide and prepare her for difficult moments in life. According to Amy, “Mindful Meditation has taught me to pause and better assess any situation or thought and then choose how to and when to best handle it.”  One of the most impactful programs for Amy has been acupuncture. She goes to acupuncture because, “It helps with my pain and boosts my immune system.  Acupuncture is also very relaxing; it helps calm me and puts me in good spirits because I believe I am doing something good for my body. My acupuncturist is like a second therapist for me. She is genuinely concerned for my well-being and has helped guide me through some decisions and thoughts I sometimes struggle with. She is a great listener.”

The mental and physical toll of a cancer diagnosis and treatment can be exhausting and emotionally draining, but Amy feels that the ICCP has been a fantastic resource. “I have to learn how to live with this diagnosis and disease for the rest of my life, until there is a medical breakthrough. Being healthy with this is not just about my body, it’s about my mind, and this is what ICCP is giving me. ICCP is providing me a sense of control, enhancing my overall emotional and physical health and providing me a wonderful escape.”

To learn more about the ICCP, please visit the SCH web page. You can change a life by making a donation to the ICCP here or contacting the Foundation at 773-293-5121.

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