Event celebrates philanthropy at SCH


On May 22, more than 70 generous donors gathered at the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville, convening to celebrate their gifts in action. Last year, more than 20,000 lives were affected by the $1.56 million in donations to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

The luncheon was attended by members of both the President’s Society (those who give $1,000 or more annually) and Heritage Society (those who have named Swedish Covenant Hospital as a beneficiary in their estate plans or have made a life income gift). Attendees included hospital employees, community members, and local partners.

President and CEO Anthony Guaccio shared a moving presentation, capturing the use of a donor dollar with eloquence and emotion, expounding on testimonies of those impacted by the services provided by Swedish Covenant Hospital. One especially sobering narrative starred a woman escaping from an abusive situation with the help of the hospital’s Violence Prevention Program, a program made possible through generous philanthropy. Last year, 740 survivors of domestic violence were identified and assisted through this program.

Kimberly Leslie, emergency department clinical director, highlighted the Better Health Through Housing initiative. Swedish Covenant Hospital partnered with the Center for Housing and Health through the City of Chicago’s Better Health through Housing Program, which aims to provide permanent housing and services for patients who are homeless. The hospital provides social services for 10 chronically homeless individuals, including intensive case management and managed healthcare services. Featured on NBC Chicago, this program has already gained renown in the neighborhood and city.

Attendees were also gifted an exclusive sneak peek into upcoming projects of Swedish Covenant Hospital. Exciting changes are on the horizon, made possible through the philanthropy of generous donors.

For more information about giving societies, click here or contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or

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Grant funds onsite domestic violence support


When her husband went to get the car at the end of her hospital stay, a patient finally had a moment alone with her nurse. It was then that she revealed that her husband was abusive. Because of the small window of time the nurse had to act, she gave the patient contact information for advocacy services provided onsite at Swedish Covenant Hospital. The patient was able to schedule a follow-up appointment, where she was given a HopeLine phone (a pre-programmed phone to contact emergency services and support agencies) and was connected to counseling services.

Swedish Covenant Hospital’s partner agencies, Apna Ghar and Between Friends, provide onsite patient advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence. The program is being made possible with funding from the Michael Reese Health Trust. The program breaks down barriers that many survivors face through the referral process, including lack of follow up between referral and if/when the patient contacts a DV agency, lack of continuity between the provider and the referral agency, and the apprehension in having to disclose again.

“We are grateful for the support of the Michael Reese Health Trust, which has allowed us to expand our Violence Prevention Program with a comprehensive approach to responding to the needs of survivors of Domestic Violence,” said Kate Lawler, director of the Violence Prevention Program.

Staff from Apna Ghar and Between Friends are housed in Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Women’s Health Center twice per week to offer safety planning, referrals, and other services to survivors. In addition to office visits, the staff visits patients in the Emergency Department, on inpatient units, and provide universal education on the mother-baby unit. Since the program began, 22 survivors have received services through the program. In addition, partner agencies provide training for hospital staff to identify and respond to survivors of domestic violence.

To learn more about the Violence Prevention Program at Swedish Covenant Hospital, click here, or contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or

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Frankels leave legacy gift in honor of care


Marlene and Jay Frankel found their medical home in Swedish Covenant Hospital. They greatly appreciated the kind nursing care they received and the expertise and responsiveness of physicians, according to Jacqueline Strzalka, unit manager of 4N. The Frankels are members of the Heritage Society at Swedish Covenant Hospital, a group of loyal donors who name the hospital as a beneficiary in their estate plans. When Marlene passed away earlier this year, she left the hospital a generous gift.

Jay transferred his care to Swedish Covenant Hospital in the early 2000s, and his experience at Swedish Covenant Hospital, specifically the cardiac rehabilitation program, helped him to more proactively manage his heart issues. Marlene was also a member of Galter LifeCenter and continued to use the fitness center after Jay’s passing in 2012. Jackie had the opportunity to build a relationship with the Frankels through caring for them over the years.

Jackie remembers their kindness and their gratitude for the care they received at Swedish Covenant Hospital. She recalls that they would call and send a birthday card to Jay’s cardiologist each year because they were so appreciative of his care.

“Their generosity continues their legacy of what was their life,” Jackie said. “This estate gift epitomizes the Frankels in that they are always thinking of others.”

Jay was a WWII Merchant Marine and Army veteran, and a freelance window trimmer. Jay passed away in 2012 at the age of 85 as a result of chronic health issues.

Marlene had a long career as a physical education teacher for Chicago Public Schools and enjoyed cycling, skiing, hiking and traveling the world. She passed away in early 2018 at the age of 85.

To learn more about planned giving at Swedish Covenant Hospital, click here, or contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or

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