With our fifth and final series of round-ups from Providence’s 31 Days of Giving, our hope is that you have been touched and inspired. To close out December, we bring you a story of Little Levi, who became severely ill, quickly, and was given the care and support he needed to survive. In another, a family shares their experiences with how one of our hospitals began to feel like family to them.
We at Providence express our gratitude to our generous community members, who make these heartwarming success stories possible.
(12/31/19) The gift of saving a child's life
One of the hardest things for a parent to ever go through is seeing their child with a life-threatening illness in the hospital - especially when his chances for survival are uncertain. Every minute taken for a decision on treatment counts. The care team at Providence Sacred Heart Children's center in Spokane, Washington acted fast to save Levi’s life. After 51-days on life support as he healed and recovered, Levi started to regain his strength.
About the Providence care team, Levi’s mom said, “The dropped everything. It’s what they do. They treat your child like it’s their own.” The care team were so involved in Levi’s case they even had Levi’s Fight t-shirts made!
Learn more about Levi’s story and the work of the Providence Health Care Foundation in Eastern Washington.
(12/30/19) The gift of leaving a lasting legacy
Reg and Margaret Bayley have been involved in their Santa Rosa Community since moving there in 1962. Their community involvement deepened when Margaret needed medical care relating to her kidneys. Thanks to the Santa Rosa Memorial nephrology care team, Margaret got the care she needed and made some life-long friends along the way. Supporting Memorial Hospital was an easy decision for the Bayleys. In their words: “We have always believed in the work of Memorial. We especially love the ‘extra’ things Memorial does for those in need through their Community Benefit programs.
Aligned with the mission of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the Bayleys became annual donors. Indeed, their belief in the hospital is so deep they bequeathed any remaining funds in their charitable fund to Memorial. Reg said, “Memorial Hospital is a community asset.” Through their generous contributions, the Bayleys are helping to ensure that the hospital and its support for the community remains an asset for years to come.
(12/29/19) The gift of crushing cancer
Karen Baas, a Providence employee and single mother, received her cancer diagnosis at a young age. She was determined to beat it, and did so with the help and support of the Providence Oregon Cancer team. But she didn’t stop there. Karen joined the Hood to Coast "Cancer Crushers" relay team to raise money for cancer and to share her inspirational story with others. "I didn't know what I was doing," she said. But with time and training, she completed the marathon and now has several ultra-marathons under her belt. She plans to do a 100-mile run soon.
Her advice for other cancer patients: “You’ve got to live each moment like it’s the best; don’t look back and realize there’s going to be a tomorrow.”
(12/28/19) The gift of being recognized
Thinking he was helping a friend by bringing a friend to Covenant Health for medical assistance, Royce House was surprised when the care staff admitted him. In the ER, Royce was informed that he needed to be treated for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a common lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. During his two-week stay, he learned he also had a rare form of cancer. Ready to get to work, the Covenant care staff helped stabilize Royce and set him on a path to getting back to the things he loved.
In his words: “Covenant doctors worked in conjunction with my UMC doctors to stabilize me and to figure out that I also had a new rare Cancer called Sweets Syndrome. I am very grateful to all Covenant staff for taking such good care of me."
(12/27/19) The gift of walking after a stroke
A massive stroke changed everything for Joe McCollough, leaving him with the mind and body strength of a three-year old boy…in the 200-pound body of an adult male. The damage was difficult to assess, and there was no guarantee for a full recovery. Joe was determined to not wallow in self-pity. Courageous, determined and hopeful, Joe set a goal to walk five miles to celebrate his recovery. Inspired, members of his support team at Mission Hospital in Southern California joined him on his walk about.
(12/26/19) The gift of giving back
Anthony Scribner was just 48 years old when he received quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery at Providence Heart Institute in Oregon. A healthy, active, young father of three, he was understandably nervous about the procedure and what awaited him post-surgery. Confident in the Providence care team, he put on his brave face for his family. In his words: “Thanks to Providence, I am the father I want to be and back to the things that I love.”
Giving back is a big thing for Anthony. He’s now a proud volunteer as a Pathfinder, making in-room visits to other heart patients at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
(12/25/19) The gift of a life-saving Miracle
Do you believe in miracles? Gina and Aaron Mischel certainly do. Without warning Gina was overcome with an unfamiliar pain in her chest. She said, “It felt like something was trying to break out of my chest.” Scared, the couple rushed to the emergency room at Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington, and quickly realized that Gina was having a heart attack.
Aaron’s intuition and faith literally helped save his wife’s life. After 20-minutes of trying to resuscitate Gina, the Providence caregivers succeeded. She was rushed to an emergency surgery to remove blockage in her arteries. It took time for Gina to recover, but the miracle the couple and the caregivers witnessed left a lasting impression of hope.
Learn more about Gina and Aaron’s story and the work of Providence Foundations throughout Washington state.
(12/24/19) The gift of freedom
For a very good reason Paula Skomski, a Nurse at Providence in Everett, Washington, is a dedicated advocate for the Peoria Home. The organization offers a two-year residential program providing sanctuary and support for women survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution, helping women to grow individually and to reclaim their freedom while living in community. The Peoria House offers women who have suffered enough a sense of community and hope for a brighter, healthier future.
Find out more about the Peoria Home and its Mission, history and those it serves here.
(12/23/19) The Gift of a Place to Stay
The St. Patrick House in Missoula, MT, was established to provide cost-free comfort for traveling patients and their families and need a place to stay outside of the hospital while recovering from treatment. Given the financial burden of health care, providing a free and welcoming environment is a big help to many patients. A large space with a shared kitchen, a common space, and 14 beautifully designed rooms, the St. Patrick House is a true gift to help ease the burden of those needing care while away from home.
(12/22/19) The Gift of Music That Soothes the Soul
“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen
Music thanatology is a clinical practice that unites music and medicine in end-of-life care. In 2001, Providence became the first health system in the world to hire full-time music thanatologists. Kyle Higaki, a music thanatologist at Providence, says he learned about the field a few years ago and felt an intense calling. In his words, “It brings rest, relaxation. It provides a sacred space. Patients can close their eyes and meditate, contemplate or pray. It’s a sacred privilege. I might very well be the last person they spend time with. It’s a very spiritual journey, and I am honored to be a part of that journey for every person I attend.”
The program has brought comfort and peace to hundreds of people as they faced the end of life. Read more about music as medicine made possible by the Saint Peter Foundation.
(12/21/19) The gift of safety in maternal health
The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion, but if something goes wrong during labor and delivery, it can be dangerous for mother and baby. Preparation and training for emergency situations- whether for a birth of a baby or unforeseen surgical complications – can make a crucial difference. The Interprofessional Perinatal Simulation Program at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, CA helps ensure that clinical providers are prepared for the unexpected.
For the past two years, the program has been supported by a grant from UniHealth Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization whose mission is to support and facilitate activities that significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities within its service area. The program allows physicians, nurses and health care staff to hone how they respond during life-threatening emergencies, using a maternal manikin named “Victoria” that is manufactured by Gaumard Scientific.
(12/20/19) The gift of the very best care
As a mother of two boys, and a personal trainer, Susan Sange knew she couldn’t afford a lengthy recovery time after surgery. So, although the decision to undergo a hysterectomy at 35 was not an easy one to make, Susan found comfort and reassurance in knowing that she had the option of choosing the da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Surgical System at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in California.
Susan found comfort in the knowledge that her procedure would be performed by one of the national leaders on robotic surgery. In her words, "Dr. Kirk and his staff were wonderful. They gave me all the information I needed to make the right choice for me, and my family.”
The pinpoint accuracy of the da Vinci robot system, and its minimally invasive technique, offered Susan less pain and a faster recovery cycle. Learn more about Susan’s story and how the generosity of the Napa community is helping the Queen of the Valley Foundation fund projects to make the community healthier and happier.
(12/19/19) The gift of a clinic without walls
For over 50 years, the Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) as part of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California, has provided empathetic care to underprivileged families, adolescents and children throughout the Los Angeles area. In partnership with the California State Parks Foundation, the CFDC hosted events to bring children and their parents into nature as a means to address mental health symptoms. These events were designed to help build bonds between parents and children by using connections with nature as a means to reduce stress, while educating them on the healing powers of being on a beach or taking a hike.
(12/18/19) The Gift of hope after a cancer diagnosis
Joanne Warner, a patient at Providence Cancer Institute in Oregon, life changed w hen she found out she had cancer. Her hopes of spending time with her grandchildren, and continuing on with practicing the other things that gave meaning to her life, were suddenly taken from her… until she interviewed the cancer team at Providence. In her words, “The picture I had of my life was untrue, and when I interviewed the team at Providence was the first time I had hope.”
Here, she shares her experience of how her care and treatments gave her hope, resilience, and years of her life back. Some of the most cutting-edge work for cancer treatments is done at Providence in Oregon, made possible by the Providence Foundation.
Learn more how the Providence Foundation of Oregon is giving hope to Joanne and other patients battling cancer.
(12/17/19) The gift of finishing cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 40% of men and 38% of women are at risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is something that affects every one of us, whether it be through personal experience, or someone we love. As part of the #FinishCancer movement, Providence is investing in research, clinical trials, and innovative treatments to address the root cause of this human plague. Central to the movement is community involvement, and across the communities we serve we’ve activated thousands of people to support the cause.
Core to the movement is getting treatment and finding support to help patients navigate their treatment journey. It’s a tender touch and the tenacity to fight. It’s a willingness to commit and an act of bravery. This is what it means to finish cancer.
Learn more about the #Finishcancer movement, and explore the stories of our community efforts in Alaska, Oregon, Southern California and Washington.
(12/16/19) The gift of connection and support
Amy was one of many women who, upon learning of their pregnancies, do not feel the happiness and connection that they think they “should.” Instead, facing the birth of her first child, Amy was overwhelmed with fear. In her words, “I didn’t understand how I could maintain the image of the life I had always held for myself with a baby. I’m supposed to be happy and glowing and excited, and I didn’t have any of those feelings, so I thought something was really wrong with me.”
Amy became depressed, anxious and desperate, and knew she needed help. She sought the support of the comprehensive perinatal therapeutic team at Swedish, where she was able to talk with a therapist on a weekly basis. After Max arrived, she continued with the support group offered by Swedish for new mothers, which helped her learn how to bond with him.
Thanks to the philanthropic support of our community, Amy found the complete care that would provide for herself and her son. Learn more about Amy’s story and how the Swedish Medical Center Foundation is helping expecting and new parents.
(12/15/19) The gift of letting go: Layla’s story
Provide children the care they need so they can live the best quality of life they can for as long as possible. That’s the mission of Providence TrinityKids Care, and the team of clinical experts and staff live that mission daily.
Layla, a baby whose nervous system was breaking down, is a shining example of how TrinityKids Care helps children and families navigate the very difficult waters of children with terminal illnesses. The simple presence of a team of trained clinical experts provides the solace that many families need, and that’s the service TrinityKids Care provided Layla’s family. In the words of Layla’s mom, “Every minute they [the staff] entered the house, I felt I was going to survive that day because they were living it with us.”
On any given day, TrinityKids Care in Southern California provides service to 160 children, including pediatric hospice and palliative patients. TrinityKids Care has helped over 3,500 families since its founding in 2001.
TrinityKids Care has served some 3,500 families since its founding in 2001. We are the only dedicated, in-home children’s hospice in southern California, and we know how to help. When you don’t know what to say, give.
(12/14/19) The gift of a baby’s life
Unexpectedly, Iker was born 10 weeks early and weighed just over 3 pounds. While he waited hours in the middle of a blizzard to be transported to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Portland, he was stabilized in the Providence St. Mary’s Special Care Nursery in Washington. Equipped with highly-skilled staff, as well as specialized equipment, baby Iker got the care he needed to save his life.
After 39 days in the NICU, Iker was released and his now a healthy and happy boy. Thanks to the generosity of community members, the St. Mary’s Medical Center is able to invest in innovations such as Panda Warmers to keep tiny infants warm, while attracting some of the most highly skilled clinicians.
(12/13/19) The gift of engaged students to build healthier communities
Oregon's suicide rate has outpaced the national average for the past three decades. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of death for teenagers in the state. This is a both a preventable and treatable societal health issue, and Providence partnered with Oregon students to do something about it.
With the goal of removing the stigma of mental health issues and reducing suicide rates among teens, Providence helped to educate students on mental health issues. Inspired, the students started a movement to create a bill to allow Oregon students to take mental health days. Packaged as House Bill 2191, the students found a receptive leader in Governor Kate Brown who signed the bill into law in June 2019.
(12/12/19) The gift of innovative approaches to helping MS patients
Brain and spinal cord diseases or injuries such as multiple sclerosis (MS), strokes and Parkinson’s disease are debilitating. Patients with these types of diseases or injuries often have to relearn basic skills like walking and talking that most abled-bodied people take for granted. One thing about most of these patients is that they are some of the strongest-minded people – they never give up.
Covenant Health and Trustpoint Rehabilitation have introduced a new specialized piece of robotic equipment, called the Lokomat Pro. This exoskeleton robot helps support patients while they walk on a treadmill, and sensors monitor movement and provide feedback to therapists to help patients achieve their rehabilitation goals. This robot-assisted therapy merges innovative technology with clinical expertise to give children and adults hope.
(12/11/19) The gift of solutions to addressing the opioid crisis
From pain relievers to heroin to fentanyl, opioids have become a plague on America. These highly addictive drugs have gripped cultures in urban and rural areas alike. They are negatively impacting people of all ages and all races. The impact on kids is especially concerning. The CDC found that across the U.S. the opioid prescription rate in 2017 was 59 prescriptions for every 100 Americans. In Montana the rate was higher at 61% per 100 residents. According to 2019 data from the Montana Office of Public Instruction, 12.8% of high school students have abused prescription pain medication at least once.
Realizing the need to help address this issue, Providence St. Joseph Lake County Medical Workers in Montana launched an effort to educate community members on the dangers and realities of this dire health issue.
Learn more about how Providence Montana is helping to address this issue. If you are inclined to contribute to helping to solve this issue in Montana, learn more about the Providence Montana Health Foundation.
(12/10/19) The Gift of care for Newborns
For more than 60-years, St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California welcomes over 200 newborns into the world each month. St. Mary’s is the only designated NICU in California High Desert area. Offering 14 beds for tiny infants, the NICU staff is committed to ensuring that no parent has to spend a second away from their newborn.
Thanks to the generous support of the community, the NICU offers an innovative technology dubbed “panda warmers” that help stabilize the temperature for tiny infants. This technology provides the warmth to infants when they are too fragile for parents to pick them up.
(12/9/19) The gift of comfort
Baby Macklen was a bigger baby, and progressed normally at first, but wasn't hitting any many of normal milestones. At his nine-month wellness appointment, the doctors noticed an abnormality in his eyes, and upon further investigation found that he had Tay-Sachs. For this degenerative neuro disease there is no cure, and the life-span is in the range of 3-5 years.
Faced with this very difficult reality, the family engaged the Stepping Stones and Safe Crossing programs offered by Providence Pediatric Palliative Care to help guide them on their journey. These programs provide support services to ease the way for families, while ensuring that young patients get the care they need.
(12/8/19) The gift of helping our neighbors
The human crisis at our southern board requires action, and when the Catholic Health Association issued a call for help Providence stepped up. Our mission is to serve the poor and vulnerable, and migrant families fleeing poverty and suffering certainly fit into our mission work. Indeed, together with our global partners, we have waves of volunteers traveling to Texas, California, and throughout Central America to aid families in need.
(12/7/19) The gift of community to protect children
Alaska’s children are experiencing child abuse and neglect at rates higher than almost any other state. Without treatment, that trauma can last into adulthood, affecting their health and well-being for a lifetime. Together with our community partners, we have the power to address this dire issue and help children heal and live a productive and happy life. Children experiencing abuse need and deserve peace and hope, and Alaska CARES is one partner that provides treatment to approximately 1,000 of Alaska’s most vulnerable children every year.
(12/6/19) The gift of honoring a special caregiver
Caregivers can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Fran Albrecht with Providence Montana Health Foundation explains the Honor Your Caregiver Program. Gifts ranging from $25 up are used to secure new technology and support other critical programs. In addition to the generous gifts from patients who felt compelled to express their gratitude, the recipient caregiver recognized with an Angle pin. These pins, while a small token of gratitude, give caregivers a sense of meaning and purpose for the work they do.
(12/5/19) The gift of delivering healthy babies: Middie’s Story
The Providence Oregon team welcomed Baby Middie (a girl) to the world on August 20, 2019. Named after Maybelle Clark, and funded by the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund in tandem with Providence Foundations, Baby Middie is a state-of-the-art, wirelessly controlled, simulated baby that will help train caregivers at the Providence Birthplace in Medford, Oregon. Middie provides realistic training for interventions such as obstructed breathing and stabilization skills.
(12/4/19) The gift of compassion: Matt Miller’s Story
Matt Miller, a generally health and active fifty-year old, suffered an extreme heart attack that required a quadruple heart bypass surgery and cardiac rehabilitation. This realization struck a fear of missing out on seeing his kids grow up. Matt said, “I was scared out of my mind literally, thinking I was going to die, and I remember the nurses made me feel so welcome.” The nurses at Providence St. Jude Medical Center caring for Matt assured him that ‘you are going to get the best care possible.” And he did.
According to his wife, “We’d all be lost without him.” Thanks for the compassionate and comprehensive care offered by the St. Jude cardiac rehab program, his wife and kids will have Matt for years to come.
(12/3/19) The gift of time: Matt Gardner’s Story
More time. That’s all Matt Gardner and his wife, Eimear, could hope for. Diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer just days before his wedding, the couple knew their time together was short. Dr. Philip Gold and Dr. Alexander Farivar explored options with the couple, and set a goal to make Matt feel as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Dr. Farivar said, “We knew we were not going to buy him years, but we knew we could give him time to achieve some of his life’s goals.” One such goal was to have kids.
Thanks to the innovative spirit and the associated research and investment in clinical trials at Swedish, the doctors gave Matt and Eimear the gift of time. All this was made possible by the philanthropic support of the Swedish community.
(12/2/19) The gift of easing financial and emotional burdens: Lloyd’s Story
Lloyd, a proactive community member, was hospitalized with a life-threatening brain tumor. His wife wasn't sure that he would survive. Thanks to the treatment he received at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA, his life was saved. According to Lloyd, “Everything changed in a moment, and I had to relearn how to talk and feed myself. This wasn’t in my plan for the week.” Despite overcoming the tumor, he lost use of his arm and leg, which meant he would need a wheelchair for recovery. Specifically, to reclaim some semblance of freedom Lloyd needed an electric wheelchair, but his insurance would only cover a manual chair.
Enter Melissa. Melissa saw the predicament Lloyd was in and worked with the Providence St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Fund to secure the money to get Lloyd the electric wheelchair he needed. “We are all one life altering medical emergency away from needing something like the Good Samarian Fund,” said Melissa.
(12/1/19) The gift of experience: Kevin’s Story
Whenever people would meet Kevin, they tended to say that he was so much more mature than they’d ever expected a 17-year-old to be, and he was. This is partly because he was so protective of his mom, his younger brother, and younger sister. But one of the main sources of Kevin’s maturity was having spent almost all of his life with a fatal respiratory disease. Through virtual reality equipment donated to the TrinityCare Foundation, Kevin was able to walk on the Space Station. When NASA Hall of Fame astronaut and physician Scott Paraynski (who has been on the International Space station) heard about Kevin, he paid a visit.
Learn more about Kevin and the Providence Trinity Kids Care program in Torrance, CA.
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