Newtown Square, Pa. —The Community Outreach Program at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., as well as Angela Graham, operating room clinical assistant and Keith Koenig, board of trustee member, each were recognized by Catholic Health East at its bi-annual Governance-Management Conference.
The Conference, held at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa from May 22-24, was attended by senior management representatives from across CHE, as well as board of trustee members system-wide. Attendees at this year’s conference—themed Future Shock. Future Church. Future Health Care.—explored opportunities to enhance person-centered care in a reformed health care environment and sustain its ministries into the future.
During the conference, awards were presented to the individuals and programs that were selected from among numerous nominations. The Holy Cross Hospital Community Outreach Program received the Daniel F. Russell Innovative Service To Those Who Are Poor Award. This award is presented to a program within Catholic Health East that clearly demonstrates innovative and creative service to those who are poor and shares this across the System and with other values-compatible organizations.
The community outreach mission at Holy Cross is to provide health-related services and resources by serving communities in need in Broward County and the Vision is to facilitate access to health care to populations in need by identifying, advocating, educating, procuring and providing health-related resources and disease prevention to better serve and improve the health in targeted communities. The program features the Holy Cross Mobile Medical Unit, Growing Healthy Kids Program, National School Meal Programs and health education classes for girls.
A $10,000 cash award was presented to the Holy Cross Hospital Outreach Program.
The Richard A. Stebbins Award was presented to Angela Graham, an operating room clinical assistant at Holy Cross. This award recognizes one colleague from CHE who represents the Core Values of the system and who has particularly demonstrated the capacity to build community and foster harmonious and supportive relationships between and among organizations and people.
For the past 25 years, Angela Graham has quietly and steadfastly been on a mission to help the homeless, a population of society most in need, and quite often, largely ignored. Graham’s crusade to help others started back in the 1980s when she saw a man eating out of a trash can, surrounded by flies. Touched by his plight, she offered him food and went a step further, going back to her house to get him shoes and clothing. Knowing there were many others like him in the community inspired Graham to help make a difference in the lives of the homeless.
She provides food and clothing to the homeless in Broward County as well as campaigns for their rights. In doing so, she helped raise the visibility of the issue, which was instrumental in the city finally building a permanent shelter for homeless persons. She continued to help those on the streets and eventually formed her own organization, Graham for the Homeless.
“That’s what the Lord wants us to do—help others,” said Graham. “There are some people who don’t have anything. If we could all just give a little extra of ourselves, we could all help save someone in need.”
Over the years, Graham has fed thousands of homeless individuals and families. And her work has not gone unnoticed by U.S. and state senators and representatives from Florida, who have sent her letters over the years, commending her on her dedication.
In a letter from 2003, U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings wrote: I greatly admire the work you are doing with the homeless. Your compassion and concern have raised awareness of the serious problems faced by this large and growing population. You are the kind of person to whom we can all point with respect and admiration. Thank you for all you do to make our world a better place.
Graham received a $2,000 cash award to be used for her personal enrichment. In addition, a plaque will be inscribed with her name which is kept at CHE’s System Office in Newtown Square, Pa.
The Excellence in Governance Award was presented to Keith Koenig, Holy Cross Hospital board of trustees member. Each year, this award honors an individual who serves on the board of a CHE regional health corporation or joint operating agreement. The recipient must distinguish himself/herself as a visionary leader, collaborator and strategic thinker.
Koenig has been a valued member of the board of trustees of Holy Cross Hospital for more than 13 years, contributing countless hours of service and steadfastly supporting the mission of Holy Cross and the core values of the Sisters of Mercy. He is a strong ally in the community, representing Holy Cross through his extensive involvement in charitable causes and non-profit work and is an invaluable member of its board.
“His history on the board has proven that he has the courage to take on difficult issues that have arisen at Holy Cross, while remaining true to his moral and ethical values,” said Patrick A. Taylor, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO, Holy Cross Hospital. “He is a respected voice of reason and serves as a role model for his colleagues on the board in their efforts to be a healing presence in the community they serve.”
As part of this award, a $10,000 grant is presented to a program of the recipient’s choosing. In addition, Koenig’s name will be inscribed on a plaque to be kept at CHE’s System Office.
Catholic Health East (CHE) is a multi-institutional Catholic health system, co-sponsored by nine religious congregations and Hope Ministries, a Public Juridic Person within Catholic Health East. Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the System provides the means to ensure the continuation of the Catholic identity and operational strength of the sponsors’ health ministries, which are located in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. The CHE system includes 33 acute care hospitals, five long-term acute care hospitals, 24 freestanding and hospital-based long-term care facilities, 11 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, seven behavioral health and rehabilitation facilities, 39 home health/hospice agencies, and numerous ambulatory and community-based health agencies. Catholic Health East facilities employ more than 54,000 full-time employees as partners in ministry. More information about CHE is available at www.che.org.
Photo Above (L-R): Patrick Taylor, MD (President and CEO, Holy Cross Hospital); Angela Graham; Kim Saiswick, RN; Judith M. Persichilli (President and CEO, Catholic Health East); Keith Koenig)