Nursing staff appreciates donation of AccuVein Vein Illuminators


The nursing staff would like to thank the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation for its generous donation for the purchase of nine AccuVein Vein Illuminator devices for nursing units throughout SCH. These leading-edge devices allows health care professionals to see a map of peripheral veins on the skin’s surface which assists the nursing staff in reaching their goal of accessing a vein to draw blood or begin an IV infusion on the first attempt.

“We are continually working to improve the care provided to our patients,” said Clinical Nurse Educator Eileen Wright, MSN, RN. “Our nurses are very pleased to be using a product that can influence their development of venipuncture skills while enhancing patient experience. There have already been many positive stories that illustrate significant patient satisfaction through the use of the AccuVein device.”

“Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation is thankful to the many donors who contribute to support the hospital, our nurses and caregivers in the delivery of quality care for our patients,” said Executive Director Jennifer Tscherney. “We know from firsthand accounts that this equipment is already making a significant difference in the overall patient experience at Swedish Covenant Hospital.”

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Darin Ortmann holds annual toy drive to provide cheer to kids


Darin Ortmann remembers what it’s like to be a child in the hospital around the holidays. At the age of five, Darin spent more than a month in a hospital during the Christmas season. This was in the back of his mind when he decided that he wanted to give back to the community. He chose to partner with his employer, Loafers Bar, to organize a toy drive for children at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Now in its third year, Darin hopes to donate 500 toys to children at Swedish Covenant Hospital this holiday season.

The annual toy drive is a holiday tradition for Darin and Loafers Bar. Just after Thanksgiving, the collection boxes are decorated and placed inside Loafers Bar (2600 W. Lawrence) to collect toys throughout the month of December. In addition, Darin organizes a benefit concert in which attendees are asked to bring a new toy to donate, or to give $5 to purchase a new toy. With additional planning, promotion and the introduction of a raffle, the drive grew from 100 toys in their first year to 400 toys last year.

The drive also serves another purpose – it’s a way to teach the two boys who he nannies for about charity.

“For kids, Christmas is often about getting and I wanted to teach the boys to give back,” Darin said. “The first year, when I was telling the boys about the drive, one of them asked if he could donate one of his toys, too.”

The best part of the drive, according to Darin, is dropping off the toys at the hospital with the boys he nannies for. Along with his two helpers, Darin delivers the toys a few days before Christmas. The boys dress in their elf hats, a nickname affectionately given to them the first year by a nurse in the ED, and help to distribute the toys to the kids.

Darin recalls the warm reaction to the toys, and the impact it has on him and the boys. He remembers one child giving a big hug in return for the toy, as well as a small girl who went from crying one moment to smiles and laughter a few moments later because of their kindness.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Darin said.

To learn more about fundraising on behalf of Swedish Covenant Hospital, click here or contact the Foundation at or (773) 293-5121.

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Spicers give back in appreciation of care received by mothers


Swedish Covenant Hospital holds a special place in the hearts of Tom and Mary Ann Spicer. The physicians and nurses at the hospital provided end of life care for both Tom and Mary Ann’s mothers in the 1990s. To recognize the care they received, Tom and Mary Ann made one of their first gifts to the hospital in memory of their mothers. Now, nearly 20 years later, they continue to support Swedish Covenant Hospital because of these experiences.

It is no coincidence that Tom and Mary Ann’s mothers Wendolyn Fish and Mae Spicer shared the same Swedish Covenant Hospital physician; the two were neighbors and friends. In fact, Tom and Mary Ann grew up two houses away from each other in the Avondale neighborhood.

When Mary Ann’s mother, Wendolyn, became ill, she was referred to Swedish Covenant Hospital’s home health program, and she received home visits from her physician, as well as nurses. When the time came that she needed more care than house call nurses could provide, she was admitted to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

“The care provided by the physicians and house call nurses was overwhelming,” Mary Ann said. “We were happy with all of the care she received; it was better than we could have ever expected.”

Mary Ann’s mother received care on the rehab unit at Swedish Covenant Hospital, until she was well enough to move to a nursing home. The care provided by the nurses at Swedish Covenant Hospital, as well as the home health program stands out to Mary Ann.

Tom’s mother, Mae Spicer, also received care at Swedish Covenant Hospital during the late 1990s. During her battle with emphysema, she had many visits to Swedish Covenant Hospital. Tom and Mary Ann were thankful to be able to receive the same quality care that they had come to expect at the end of Mae’s life.

“We think Swedish Covenant Hospital is a good place and hear good things about it and everyone seems to be in the same direction – focusing on the patients,” Mary Ann said. “For us, there is no hospital other than Swedish.”

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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