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Giving from the heart

Mae Johnson: We do for Family

When Mae Johnson was invited to join the board of trustees for Community Hospital, her first question was, “Why? What could I offer that would make a difference?

“When I became a member of the board,” she says, “I began to know more about the inner workings of the hospital. I loved being part of an organization so special to the community. Whatever I could contribute, I wanted to be a part of that. When I went to the board meetings, the elevator couldn’t go fast enough. It is a highly productive board, and everything is done in the best interest of the patients. That’s it. It’s the culture of family.”

When Johnson left the board, she joined the hospital’s Women’s Forum for Health committee as a way to stay connected to her hospital family and make a difference in the health and well-being of the women of this community.

“My own family,” she says, “is connected to the hospital. I lost my daughter Roscelyn, who was a diabetic. She received the most wonderful care anyone could receive. And I had major surgery more than a year ago. It was a most frightening experience, but I knew they would do everything possible to get me back to good health. I knew it. Not only were they kind and considerate and thoughtful to me, they were the same to my entire family. I can’t possibly do enough for this organization. If they call me in the middle of the night, I’m ready.”

Herb Lister: A family affair

As Herb Lister was getting ready for gallbladder surgery at Community Hospital, he asked the attendant wheeling him down the hall if they were pressed for time, if they might be anywhere near the Family Birth Center, if they might stop by for a visit en route to the operating room.

“You should have seen the birth center nurse’s expression when this old goat showed up,” says Lister. “She said, ‘Are you lost?’ I said, ‘No, my daughter just gave birth to my granddaughter.’ And two seconds later, I had baby Scarlett on my chest. Then off I went to surgery; and you know, I did much better because of that visit.”

At the end of February 2008, Lister had a gallbladder attack, just about the time his expectant daughter went into labor. The two arrived at Community Hospital at the same time, and Scarlett was born the next afternoon. That evening, Lister went into surgery.

Scarlett went home the next day, but grandpa remained in the hospital another 10 days. Now both are doing well, and Lister is grateful for the results.

“I was already a donor to the hospital,” he says, “and I’m certainly a big supporter now. Frankly, I was anxious to get out of there, but the staff that took care of me was just wonderful. And the facility is incredible. I like the people who work there, and I think Scarlett and I were very well taken care of.”

Tanya Anistratenko: Work for something you believe in

Tanya Anistratenko has been working for Community Hospital since 1983, first as a secretary in physical therapy, followed by a job in the Recovery Center, and then at the Blood Center. For the past 10 years, her post has been in Materials Management, where she serves as senior administrative assistant to the director. She works for Community Hospital because she believes you should work for a company you believe in.

This is also why she has been giving to the hospital, regularly, for the past 25 years.

“Donating to the hospital is my way of showing support for our vision and mission,” says Anistratenko. “I believe in our hospital, in what we do. That belief has only grown in all these years I’ve worked here.”

Whether it is the Pavilions expansion, the Breast Care Center, or another endeavor, Anistratenko pays attention to the current project underway at the hospital and directs her donations there.

“Our hospital is unique,” she says, “in that it is a stand-alone, nonprofit hospital. We don’t get money from a parent organization to maintain and upgrade our buildings or to develop new services. We do it ourselves, with generous support from our community and staff. Not many community hospitals have their own Blood Center or their own heart program. The level of care and the variety of services we offer make me proud to support our future.”

Young Donors: Brownie Troop 32095 understands the art of distraction

The girls of Stevenson Lower School Brownie Troop 32095 must know what it’s like to be scared, what it’s like to anticipate a doctor’s appointment, what it’s like to get bored during the long, anxious wait to be seen. Which is why they allocated a portion of the proceeds from their Girl Scout cookie sales last year not to their troop activity fund, but instead to purchase Magna Doodle® drawing slates to be lent to children idling in the Emergency department waiting room at Community Hospital.

“With the profits from annual cookie sales,” says troop leader Nancy Scheid, “the girls can save the money and spend it on themselves for a party or some other kind of activity, such as camping or going to Girl Scout camp. But from the moment they first went into cookie sales, these girls decided to donate their money to something that would benefit other kids who were sick or not feeling well.”

Scheid’s daughters Kira and Chloe were among those who participated. Troop mother Deborah Peyton, whose daughter Allison was a Brownie, researched possible donations and returned with a few ideas presented by Community Hospital. The girls liked the Magna Doodles.

“The 23 girls in this troop were in first, second, and third grade,” says Scheid, “and most of them were in their first year of scouting. I think it’s amazing that they went into their cookie sales wanting to do something not for themselves but for someone else. It’s what scouting is all about.”