All in the family: Amita Health foundations unite for gala
A star-studded event, designed to draw supporters from all of the hospitals in the Amita Health System -- for the first time -- features whimsical lily pads on its invitations.
The better to conjure up frogs leaping from one lily pad to the next, organizers say.
Sure enough, the theme of this debut event is "Leaping Forward Together," and it takes place on Leap Day, Feb. 29, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
The gala is the first since Presence Health and its network of Catholic hospitals joined with Adventist Midwest Health to become part of Amita Health -- creating the largest health system in the state.
Consequently, more than 700 people are expected to attend the event, making it the largest philanthropic effort organized by the Amita Health foundations as they unite under one system.
Dr. Jeffrey Silver, a thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates in Downers Grove, serves as one of the event co-chairs. He described the gala as ushering in a new era of philanthropy for the hospital system.
"It's a testament to the continued commitment that we do our best work when we are a united community," Silver said.
Look for a sense of mission, if not ministry, to permeate the event.
After all, the hospitals in the vast system are all faith-based and share a mission to compassionately serve those in need. Together, they serve an estimated 6.6 million people across the Chicago area, especially those living on the margins.
Organizers say that proceeds from the gala will benefit programs and services that would not exist without philanthropy. They point to wraparound support, such as spiritual care, navigation or care coordination, and reaching out into the community to address unmet needs, such as food, housing and transportation.
"We're putting compassion into action for people in our communities with the greatest needs," said Dina Morris of Naperville, another co-chair.
Jim Wienold, president of Bear Construction in Rolling Meadows, rounds out the trio of co-chairs. He points to the strong community partners that work with the various hospitals.
"It's incredible people and organizations who share a dedication to living out (the hospital system's) faith-based mission," Wienold says.
Planning the gala brought members of the different hospital foundations together for the first time. They will be hosting the event, jointly, including members of Alexian Brothers Foundation, Bolingbrook Hospital Foundation, GlenOaks Hospital Foundation, Hinsdale Hospital Foundation, LaGrange Memorial Hospital Foundation and Presence Health Foundation.
The Amita network has a strong presence in the suburbs. The former Presence hospitals were acquired in 2018 and include Presence Holy Family in Des Plaines, Presence Mercy in Aurora, Presence St. Joseph in Elgin, Presence Saint Francis in Evanston and Presence St. Joseph in Joliet.
They joined with nine suburban hospitals and medical centers: Amita Health Adventist Medical Centers in Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Hinsdale and LaGrange; Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center, Amita Health Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital and Amita Health Alexian Brothers Women & Children's Hospital, all in Hoffman Estates; and Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center and Amita Health Alexian Brothers Rehabilitation Hospital, both in Elk Grove Village.
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"Leaping Forward Together" AMITA Health gala
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Where: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Cost: $500 per person
Details: www.AMITAhealth.org/gala or (224) 273-4106