Recent Gifts and Grants

Bries Medical Foundation awards grant for medical education


Medical students and residents at Swedish Covenant Hospital now have a new designated learning space, complete with a skills lab to learn mechanical and procedure-specific skills. Located on the first floor of Pro Plaza, the new space consists of five areas that provide ample room for simulation models, lectures, workstations, information technology applied ultrasonography and refrigeration for wet lab simulations. The new space is generously funded by the Bries Medical Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

According to Dr. Clark Federer, Swedish Covenant Hospital provides a robust community hospital training experience beyond the typical community hospital rotation for medical students. Students from four medical schools, including St. George’s University of London (SGUL) and more than 67 residents receive medical training at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

“Clinical skills are an integral part of our medical school curriculum at SGUL, with clinical skills labs available to us from the moment we begin our medical school education,” said Whitney Lum, 3rd-year medical student at SGUL.

The new space provides an enhanced atmosphere for learning, where students can perfect skills such as stitching and knotting, or just have a quiet place to study, according to Dr. Federer.

The centerpiece of the project is an expanded surgical skills laboratory. Previously, tools stored in a small unused exam room could be accessed during down times. However, the new space offers expanded opportunities for students and residents to safely and efficiently develop technical skills including knot tying, laparoscopic proficiencies, catheterization, central lines, intubation, and many other skill sets.

“At Swedish Covenant Hospital, residents and physicians work closely with students to improve our clinical skills through teaching and patient encounters, but there are times when students need a bit more practice,” Whitney said. “Fortunately we have been given a dedicated space to practice mechanical skills, while also creating a space to practice physical exam skills needed for patient encounters.”

In addition to the skills lab, the new space includes a conference room with white-boards and a computer with a large wall-mounted monitor that allows students to review recorded lectures, and discuss cases together.

“Thank you to Dr. Federer and Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation for providing such a great space for us to learn,” Whitney said.

To learn more about supporting medical education at Swedish Covenant Hospital, contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or

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Michael Reese Health Trust funds Violence Prevention Program


The Swedish Covenant Hospital Violence Prevention Program (VPP) has received a grant of $35,000 from the Michael Reese Health Trust. Specifically, this grant will expand the existing VPP to strengthen the program’s ability to identify and respond to domestic violence among patients visiting our Emergency Department. In the coming year, MRHT funding will allow us to implement key programmatic strategies, including training for medical providers and crisis workers, enhanced domestic violence screening tools, and improved connections to community partners and resources. Through these approaches, we will enable our ED team to better understand and recognize the dynamics of domestic violence, and respond accordingly. New assessment tools, training, and policy changes will further support these efforts. Since its inception in early 2015, the SCH Violence Prevention Program has worked across SCH departments to identify and address the immediate needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

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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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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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Swedish Emergency Associates makes generous gift to Women’s Health Initiative


Swedish Emergency Associates physicians, left to right: Dr. James Vasilakis, Dr. Leo Dilan, Dr. Bruce McNulty, Dr. Trina Norman, Dr. Andrew Costello, Dr. Lauren Pierce, Dr. Kirk Kittikamron and Dr. Allison Lazar Not pictured: Dr. Ayesha Ali, Dr. Sylveena Ali, Dr. Sheba Ampalloor, Dr. Neha Dave, Dr. John Graneto, Dr. Mary Habib, Dr. Danish Haque, Dr. Krister Johansson, Dr. Humera Khan, Dr. Joanna Kmiecik, Dr. Joseph Lo, Dr. Erik Martin, Dr. Anna Morgan, Dr. James Morosco, Dr. Anne Newbold, Dr. Christine Patte, Dr. Steven Press, Dr. Keri Robertson, Dr. Jennifer Ron, Dr. Charles Strulovitch, Dr. Melinda Tobin, Dr. Kelly Wright, Dr. Joseph Youkhana and Dr. Jonathan Younan

Physicians in Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Department know the importance of the Women’s Health Initiative. According to Dr. Bruce McNulty, president of Swedish Emergency Associates, ED physicians have a front row seat to the critical role that women play in health care. Many patients that seek care in the ED are accompanied by a woman – whether the patient’s mother, sister, wife, or daughter, he said. He and Dr. Christine Patte, Emergency Medicine physician, know how critical it is for these women to have access to high quality health care services and education.

That’s why Swedish Emergency Associates have pledged a generous donation to the Women’s Health Initiative to improve access to care for every woman in our community. The generous gift from Swedish Emergency Associates brings the Women’s Health Initiative Campaign total to $2.8 million of the $5 million goal.

“I see a lot of patients in the Emergency Department that will benefit from the Women’s Health Initiative – women who don’t have access to routine health care,” Dr. Patte said. “The Women’s Health Initiative is a great opportunity to make an impact through financial support.”

Scheduled to open in October, the Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center is the cornerstone of the Women’s Health Initiative. However, the project extends beyond the creation of a physical space, as noted by Dr. McNulty. The initiative also includes an Access and Education program and Resource Center. It is the programming, including the development of a domestic violence and human trafficking protocol that sets the initiative apart and furthers the mission of the hospital, Dr. McNulty said.

“It is important to not only carve out a special place where women can comfortably access health care services, but also to build programming that addresses the unique needs of women in our community,” Dr. McNulty said. “Through the initiative’s programs, Swedish Covenant Hospital is aligning itself as a knowledge center.”

Dr. McNulty believes that philanthropic funding is essential for the hospital to pursue initiatives such as the Women’s Health Initiative. He and Dr. Patte understand that physicians have an important role to play in supporting the hospital.

Dr. McNulty has experienced the void that is left from the closing of community hospitals. To truly care about an organization, he said, means to give back and ensure it survives and thrives. He does this, not only by providing financial support, but by also volunteering his expertise as a member of the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. McNulty has made a personal pledge to the Women’s Health Initiative. Dr. McNulty advocates his philosophy to the Swedish Emergency Associates physicians, including Dr. Patte, who has volunteered her time as a member of the gala committee since 2011.

Dr. Patte is passionate about serving the community where she lives and works. Swedish Covenant Hospital has been a special place for her family – her father was born here. Dr. Patte is proud to serve as a gala chair, along with her husband Eric Schmitt, and help raise awareness of and support for the Women’s Health Initiative. She knows that the initiative will help many of the women in the community access health care.

Swedish Emergency Associates will be recognized as a sponsor at the Swedish Covenant Hospital Gala, On the Bayou to be held on Saturday, October 18th at Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

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