Northwest Community Hospital's 60th anniversary gala raises money for cancer care
Officials with Northwest Community Hospital described Saturday night's 60th anniversary gala as historic. Even before guests arrived, the event had raised more than $1 million to launch its cancer care capital campaign.
"We've never raised this much money," said David Ungurean, Northwest Community Hospital Foundation president. "That's why it's such a historic event. But at every milestone, with every addition, the community has stepped forward to make this partnership happen."
The event drew nearly 600 people at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, including board members, current and retired physicians, donors and longtime supporters.
"This is a celebration of community. The community built this hospital and supported the hospital every step of the way," said Diane Hill, event co-chair. "Philanthropy helped us achieve cutting edge technology to benefit the community."
Guests reflected on the hospital's grassroots, door-to-door campaign to open the hospital in the 1950s, as well as seeing all the major enhancements added over the decades, featured on standing panel displays.
During the evening, CEO Stephen Scogna announced that NCH is pursuing the expansion of its cancer program in order to provide advanced cancer care and better meet the needs of the community.
He outlined a plan to meet with key opinion leaders over the next 12 months to form a strategic plan for a new cancer center, but he credited the community financial support as critical.
"This evening shows how important the support of the community is in furthering our vision," Scogna said. "This is what I live for."
Elected leaders also attended, including Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes, who called the milestone an important event for the village.
"Northwest Community is a cornerstone in Arlington Heights," Hayes said, "not only for all the services they provide for our residents but for residents across the Northwest suburbs."
Major donors were recognized during the evening, including Shirley Fish of Arlington Heights, who made a significant gift toward the cancer care campaign. For her family, Fish said, it was personal.
"My husband died of leukemia last year and I have stage four lung cancer," Fish said. "We wanted to enhance where we're getting good health care."
The hospital's longest-serving CEO, Mac MacCoun, now of Lake in the Hills, said he was not surprised at the evening's success. He credited the medical staff, nurses and technicians, and committed board members with buying into the hospital's vision for growth.
"We developed a vision to become a regional medical center," said MacCoun, who led the hospital for more than 20 years, "and have all of the services and depth of talent that you'd expect to find at a university hospital in the middle of the city."