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History of the Loretto Hospital Foundation

The Loretto Hospital Foundation (LHF) was founded in 2000 under the leadership of Stanley Banasak, former president and chief executive officer of Loretto Hospital; under the direction of Forrest Daniel, former assistant to the CEO; hospital staff; and community leaders, who all had a common interest to address the issue of access to healthcare in the Austin and surrounding communities. By ultimately supporting the hospital’s mission of providing quality healthcare in a safe, holistic environment, the LHF would be the primary financial arm and assist with funding programs and services at the hospital. The same year, the foundation was incorporated with the financial backing of Summit Hospital Management (now known as Renaissance Hospital Management).

Original members of the foundation comprised of Loretto Hospital staff and community leaders including: Sister Maureen Riley, Mary Nelson, Dr. Antonio Senat, Camille Y. Lilly, Steve Drucker, Jeff Stedman, Diane Offerens, and Vera Davis. (Click here to see a list of LHF current and former board members)

The foundation’s first project was buying new wheelchairs for Loretto Hospital, and was fully financed by Carson Pirie Scott. Shortly thereafter, the LHF supported the purchase and installation of a completely new refrigeration system to properly heat and cool the cafeteria.

By July, 2000 – and at the suggestion of Loretto Hospital Podiatrist Dr. Ronald Hugar – the LHF sponsored its first largest fundraising event, Golfing for Loretto—Distinguished Citizen Award. The golf outing attracted the major premier sponsorship of Discover Financial Services to help push the endeavor. Successfully in its 13th year, the golf outing honors a well-known distinguished citizen while promoting the establishment of a new or existing program or service at Loretto Hospital. The event has honored such local and national celebrities as Singer-Actor Pat Boone, Chicago Bears Jay Cutler, and NBC 5 Chicago’s Art Norman just to name a few. In addition, the golf outing attracts more than 300 golfers each year, who all join forces to raise money for quality healthcare services at Loretto Hospital.

In the spring of 2004, the LHF held it second major annual fundraiser, the Spirit of Achievement Awards. Similar to the annual golf outing, the Spirit of Achievement Awards offers honorees form a newly created healthcare program, center or fund in the honoree’s name at Loretto, or raise money to support an existing one. That year, the LHF honored world renowned attorney James D. Montgomery, of Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery, L.L.C., for instituting the James D. Montgomery Men’s Health Program at Loretto. Still running strong, the program offers comprehensive men’s health services including healthcare screenings for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, prostate cancer and hypertension; education and awareness; clinical and hospital treatment; networking and support groups; and medical referrals.

Approaching its 10th year, the Spirit of Achievement Awards continues every other year to serve as an important conduit to fund healthcare programs and services at Loretto Hospital. Its most recent accomplishment is The Connie L. Lindsey Cancer Resource Center, which bears the name of one of Chicago’s most recognized and respected executives and humanitarians, and 2011 Spirit of Achievement Award recipient. The center houses health and educational materials, including videos, brochures and other valuable information about various types of cancer, available treatment and nutrition. In addition, qualified volunteers and trained clinicians may be on hand to assist visitors.

Still two of the most coveted events sponsored by the foundation, both Golfing for Loretto and the Spirit of Achieve Awards continue to draw financial support from around the State of Illinois. Programs and services established as a result of these events include: the diabetes screening program, breast health education, the senior wellness program, the Breath Easy Asthma Clinic, the prostate screening program, The James D. Montgomery Men’s Health Program, and the Connie L. Lindsey Cancer Resource Center.

In 2007, the Anixter family provided a $50,000 to Loretto Hospital to underwrite various health initiatives. Later in 2011, the Anixter family financed the complete construction of the hospital’s donor wall. Today, the wall is a permanent display on the main floor of the hospital to give recognition to those who have shown monetary support and generosity to Loretto.

In 2012, the Anixter family once again showed their benevolence by purchasing additional library materials for the Connie L. Lindsey Cancer Resource Center in honor of their late family member, Lou Silva, who died of cancer.

As funding for many of the hospital’s programs and services persists, Loretto Hospital remains a viable non-profit healthcare institution today because of the support of the LHF and the philanthropic giving from its friends and corporate sponsors.