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The Good Shines Through, St. Luke's Foundation 'Circle of Light' Celebrates 14th Year

Category: Patient Stories
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Photo from Circle of LightPublished in Woman Today magazine August/September 2017

A night of fun, laughter, and celebration, St. Luke’s Foundation’s annual signature event, the “Circle of Light,” puts a spotlight on their health care excellence. Whether dressed casually or in tuxedos and glittery party dresses, guests have the opportunity to enjoy an elegant party while they help raise funds through the dinner, silent and live auctions, and event sponsorships.

According to Catherine Carter Huber, Executive Director of St. Luke’s Foundation, “The evening is a great way for people to learn more about the new initiatives at St. Luke’s that are supported by the Foundation. It is such a positive night to acknowledge those who care for patients and the people who support them.”

She added, “We always have fun ‘experiences’ as part of the auctions items too, making the evening more exciting, while at the same time raising money for our programs.” The list of this year’s items includes a Cuban dinner for 8, Frost River gear, and golf getaway packages.

“The health care system has small margins so anything that can help us to bring in new programs and to enhance education is tremendously important. The Foundation’s work is critical for that reason,” said St. Luke’s CEO John Strange.

Helena Jackson, who has been on the Foundation Board of Directors for seven years and is the current board chair, added, “The Foundation and the Circle of Light help to improve patient care and the patient experience by helping us to be able to do things that may not be in the budget.”

In past years, the Circle of Light has raised funds for projects such as the expansion of the infusion therapy clinic, Birthing Center renovations, and mental health initiatives. They are raising funds at this year’s 14th annual event to enhance the inpatient experience through a state-of-the art nursing call system. The system is currently in place in St. Luke’s Building A for surgical patients, with the goal of installing it in all units of the hospital.

Tara Haugen, RN, St. Luke’s Manager of Surgical and Procedural Care, explains, “The Responder 5 Nurse Call System has technology that helps all members of the patient care team anticipate and meet the needs of patients more efficiently. The patient call system can be customized so it meets best practice standards and the hospital’s needs. Patients can specify what they need by pushing the appropriate button on the call light. This message is then directly relayed to the appropriate team member so the patient’s needs can be taken care of efficiently.”

Haugen added, “The system also has built-in safety features such as a staff assist button and a code blue button. These features summon additional help to the room within seconds. We are able to respond to our patients’ needs much quicker.”

Linda Basara, St. Luke’s Director of Patient Experience, said, “This new system also ties in with our ‘Quiet Initiative” – responding to our patients’ need for a restful, healing environment. The new staff communication system is another improvement to help our patients not be interrupted when staff is communicating with each other, helping to keep ‘the sounds of care’ as quiet as possible.”

Another important part of the Circle of Light evening’s program is the honoring of three people, chosen for going above and beyond the call of duty in supporting Aspirus St. Luke's patients and their communities. Award categories are Community Spirit, Physician, and Friend.

“We have so many unsung heroes and heroines who go out of their way to do whatever they can to help St. Luke’s provide the best possible care. These awards give us a chance to honor them,” added Strange.

Linda Basara will be honored at this year’s event with the first Ron Franzen Community Spirit Award. The other two 2017 Circle of Light Awardees are Cecile Swenson, former St. Luke’s Foundation Board member (Friend award); and Sandy Popham, MD, St. Luke’s Nephrology Associates (Physician award).

Paul Sanford, MD, St. Luke’s Internal Medicine Associates and Medical Director for the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said, “The biggest part of life is showing up. Those who may not have attended the Circle of Light before should join us at this fun event to celebrate our culture of care and to make a difference in the community at the same time.”

This year’s Circle of Light celebration will be held on Friday, September 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the DECC’s Harborside Room. To register on line, visit more information, call Laurie Johnson at 218.249.5249