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The Impact of Philanthropy

Grants and donations make it possible for Rush-Copley to live its promise of providing extraordinary patient care each and every time.  This promise is one that cannot be achieved without the involvement of numerous stakeholders who share in a common ideology that “together, we can make a difference.”

Rush-Copley Foundation gratefully acknowledges the many different partners who have intentionally chosen to invest in projects, programs, and initiatives that are elevating, enhancing, and transforming the health and wellness of the communities Rush-Copley is privileged to serve.  What follows are recent examples of the wonderful way in which, “together, we can make a difference,” is being realized.

Operating Room Expansion

Dr. Gina Santori, DPM, an Aurora podiatrist, recently made a $1.25 million gift in honor of her late husband Richard J. Santori.  The funds will be used toward the construction of a new surgical suite at Rush-Copley Medical Center.  Richard Santori, who passed away in November 2010, was a businessman in the Aurora community for more than 40 years.  “Making this gift in his honor is a fitting tribute to my husband who lived his life to serve others.  He was a warm, and genuine man who cared deeply about others and was always ready to support the needs of the community in quiet and simple ways,” said Dr. Santori.  Dr. Gina Santori is on staff at Rush-Copley Medical Center and resides in Lisle.

Grant from The Coleman Foundation

Rush-Copley seeks to meet the diverse needs of our cancer patients through comprehensive cancer survivorship programming.  A recent grant of $230,000 over two years from The Coleman Foundation will enable us to increase cancer survivors’ compliance with physicians’ follow-up recommendations and improve patient wellness.  Rush-Copley’s new Cancer Survivorship Navigator will provide personalized Care Plans and regular phone follow-up to act as a reliable, consistent resource and help patients make and keep any needed follow-up appointments.

After completion of cancer treatment, a multidisciplinary healthcare team provides prevention, surveillance and intervention.  Given that primary care physicians do not specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the Survivorship Navigator plays an important role in bridging any gaps in care coordination.  The grant also covers physician education activities, our annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebration, and quarterly group education sessions for cancer survivors and their family members or caregivers.

John Diederich, Alvera Munson, Mary Shilkaitis

Copley Nursing Alumnae Making a Difference

The Copley School of Nursing Alumnae’s annual luncheon recognized the 50-year reunion of the Class of 1963 on Saturday, April 27, in the Rush-Copley Alumni Center.  The Copley School of Nursing Alumnae Association was formed in 1912.  Nurses came from as far away as Arkansas and Texas to catch up with old friends.  Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Diederich spoke about the expansion of Rush-Copley’s facilities and programs.  Special recognition was given to Alverna Munson, the alumnae’s oldest living graduate at 101, pictured here with John Diederich and Mary Shilkaitis, Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO.

The hospital thanks the alumnae for their many years of hard work and dedication and for the numerous gifts they have provided, which have helped support much-needed projects and programs at Rush-Copley.  In this past year, Rush-Copley has been the recipient of several estate gifts, including a generous bequest from alumna Ollie Bradshaw that provided for nursing education and training, including the establishment of a state-of-the-art Simulation Lab.  The Nursing Alumnae collectively contributed an additional $2,500 to the Ollie Bradshaw Fund following the luncheon.  The William Randolph Hearst Foundation is also contributing to the creation of the Simulation Lab through a generous 75,000 grant.
Radiant Hope Sculpture

“Radiant Hope” – Cancer Care Center Sculpture

Jim and Marlene Pearson, longtime friends of Rush-Copley, have made a generous gift of a beautiful stainless steel and glass sculpture, “Radiant Hope,” to the medical center.  The greater Fox Valley community is fortunate to have members like Jim and Marlene who lead by example and inspire philanthropy in all of us. Jim’s involvement with Rush-Copley spans more than 30 years.  He is a past Chairman of our Board, having volunteered and served in that role for five years.  The Pearsons made this gift to the Cancer Care Center in honor of patients, their loved ones and the doctors, nurses and clinicians that care for them.  They hope that its beautiful reflection of light will aid healing by bringing comfort and hope.

Rush-Copley Community Care Fund

As a not-for-profit hospital, Rush-Copley Medical Center provides advanced medicine with extraordinary care to each patient who enters our doors, regardless of ability to pay.  Now, philanthropy is opening up an additional way for us to help make healthcare more accessible to members of our community, such as those who cannot afford much-needed medical care at home after they have left the hospital.  Thanks to an outpouring of donations from Rush-Copley employees, a new fund, the Rush-Copley Community Care Fund, has been established to underwrite prescription medications, bus passes and homecare equipment for this vulnerable population.

In 2013, the Tellabs Foundation endorsed our commitment to our community by swelling the Fund’s capacity through a $50,000 matching grant.  Giving patients the medications, walkers or transportation they need not only speeds patients along the road to health, it helps to decrease the chances of readmission to the hospital.

Examples of patients who have been helped in this way include a 40-year-old man laid off from his job whose supply of medicine ran out before a new job started.  Without an income or employer-sponsored health insurance, he could not afford his prescriptions, fell ill and was unable to start work until Rush-Copley stepped in with medication assistance.  Another example was a 25-year-old student whose temp jobs did not include health insurance and whose parents were also uninsured.  A sudden wound infection required antibiotic medications that would simply have been unaffordable to this young woman without our help.  Another case involved a homeless legal immigrant who fell off a roof while working a day labor job, incurring severe arm and leg fractures.  Unable to put any weight on his leg, but also unable to use a wheelchair or walker because of his arm, he no longer met the homeless shelter’s mobility requirements.  Rush-Copley paid for his five-week stay at an assisted living facility, helped get him accepted into a job training program, and paid for his walker, transportation and medications.