SCH Gala raises $930,000 for the Family Birthing Center


It was the greatest show on Earth! On Saturday, October 27th, over 900 Swedish Covenant Hospital supporters, including hospital physicians and community leaders, came together at the Aon Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier to celebrate the 63nd Annual Benefit Gala, Le Cirque. The circus-themed event (complete with jugglers and acrobats) raised $930,000 for the Family Birthing Center and its programs.  Lourdes Duarte, co-anchor of the WGN Evening News, emceed the evening’s program, and Drs. Angel Rivera and Emily Rubenstein chaired the event.

“Hosting the gala was a great honor for Angel and me.  The night exceeded our expectations, both in fundraising and as a party. We were so pleased that the gala raised over our goal and that the Family Birthing Center will get the support the community needs,” Dr. Rubenstein said.

Proceeds from the event will enhance and update the physical appearance of the labor and delivery rooms and provide resources for new parents. Families will now have greater access to classes on child birth, breastfeeding and infant CPR, counseling and mental health services, safe sleep initiatives such as wearable blankets and co-sleepers, prenatal group sessions with other expectant mothers, and an outpatient lactation clinic

A highlight of the evening was honoring Mr. Charles (Chuck) Adair with the 2018 Spirit of Compassion Award.  This award recognizes an outstanding individual who has given selflessly of themselves with compassion to make a recognized impact on their community and others beyond the walls of Swedish Covenant Hospital.  Chuck has provided over 25 years of service and leadership to Swedish Covenant Hospital; as a member of the SCH Board of Directors since 1991 and a member of the Foundation Board since 2011. Chuck has also given of his time and management expertise for over 30 years to the Evangelical Covenant Church and Covenant Ministries of Benevolence.  In every role, for every audience, Chuck has led by example with grace, compassion, integrity and humility.  Congratulations Chuck Adair!

The Le Cirque Gala could not have happened without the generosity of our donors.  Special thanks to our Elite Sponsors, Swedish Covenant Hospital Medical Staff, Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, Medical Express Ambulance Service, Inc., The Adair Family, Continental Electrical Construction Company, Fifth Third Bank, North Park University, PNC, and Wintrust Chicago for their partnership.

Also, thank you to all of our supporters – Chairs, Drs. Angel Rivera and Emily Rubenstein, Co-Chairs, Drs. Frederman Concepcion and Rosibell Arcia-Diaz, and the gala committee, gala sponsors, guests, and volunteers – for making the Le Cirque a success.

View photos from the 2018 Gala.

To learn more about our next Gala set for October 26, 2019 at the Chicago Hilton, contact the Foundation at or 773.293.5121.

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Sara-Stedy Devices Help Patients with Mobility Issues


It looks like a combination between a chair and a walker, but it does so much more! Thanks to an idea from Director of Nursing, Sarah Stadler, and funding from the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation, these Sara-Stedy devices are helping SCH patients with limited mobility move easily and independently from a standing to a seated position, and reducing the risk of falls.

The ability to rise from a chair or bed is one of the most fundamental movements of daily life, occurring multiple times throughout the day. If a patient is unsteady or is difficult to assist, attempting to transfer them from bed to chair or toilet without the right equipment can put both patient and caregiver at risk of serious injury. The Sara-Stedy ensures that sit-to-stand transfers can be carried out safely, quickly and with ease for both patient and staff. In addition, by allowing patients to use their own strength to move, the Sara-Stedy not only improves the patient’s circulation, breathing, digestion and muscle tone, but it also enhances their activity level and provides them with an active role in their own recovery.

Six, Sara-Stedy devices have been purchased and are now being used throughout the hospital. Patients and medical staff agree, the Sara-Stedy has been life-changing. According to Jacqueline Strzalka, unit manager of 4N, “Even patients who don’t have the strength to take steps on their own can stand using this device, which allows the patient to feel more independent and enables the staff to mobilize the patients more quickly and safely.

Although small in size, the Sara-Stedy has also made a big impact on our patients. As one patient recounted to his caregiver, “…using the device allowed me to take a shower for the first time in two weeks! The Sara-Stedy made me feel in control.”

The Foundation is delighted to support these initiatives, and with your donations, we can continue providing innovative equipment and programming to improve the health and welfare of our patients and staff.  To learn more about supporting patient care initiatives at Swedish Covenant Hospital, contact the Foundation at or 773-293-5121.

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Alice Perry Leaves Estate Gift


Alice Perry was deeply committed to helping others.  Whether it was improving the lives of her patients as a physical therapist, counseling those in distress as a deacon in her church, or assisting dogs and their owners as a steadfast member of the Winnemac Dog Park community,  Alice always made a difference.

Alice Perry passed away on April 7, 2018, after a 2-year battle with leukemia.  Alice’s generosity of spirit will live on at Swedish Covenant Hospital, as a member of the Heritage Society.  Heritage Society members are loyal donors who name the hospital as a beneficiary in their estate plans. When Alice passed away, she left the hospital a generous gift for the future.

Alice had a passion for learning and growing in her chosen career as a physical therapist. Working first at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, then RIC (now Ability Lab Home/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab), and finally, at Swedish Covenant Hospital for 15 years, Alice is remembered by colleague Mark Esper, PT, GSC as a lifelong learner, mentor, and someone who cared deeply about patient care and advocacy.   Although kind and humble, Alice was outspoken when it came to patient care and was “willing to question and challenge other clinicians’ approach to care in order to improve the quality here at Swedish”.

This same sentiment is echoed by a life-long friend of Alice’s, SCH’s Director of Rehabilitation Services, Claudia Ann Morehead. Claudia Ann not only was a classmate of Alice’s in physical therapy school, but many years later, worked alongside her at SCH. According to Claudia Ann, Alice always had a passion for learning. During school, not only did she routinely spent extra time in lab sessions to ensure that she had mastered a treatment technique , but she asked her professors so many questions, that she alone would frequently extend the class period to the dismay of her classmates!  Her passion for learning and providing excellent care for her patients followed her into her physical therapy career, where she excelled at assisting those with spinal cord injuries.  She was a meticulous professional, who worked to  obtain advanced certificates , mentored PT students and colleagues and wasn’t afraid to challenge a colleagues’ treatment plan  on behalf of a patient’s care.

Alice Perry’s expertise, passion and commitment to her patients will be greatly missed at Swedish Covenant Hospital, but due to her generosity, the impact of her estate gift will be felt for years to come. To read more donor stories, visit the Foundation website. To learn more about planned giving, contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121, email us at:, or visit the planned giving website at:

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