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.