Touching Lives - Spring 2013

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A publication of the Foundations of MultiCare.


  • T O U C H I N GL I V E SMultiCare Health Foundation Good Samaritan Foundation Mary Bridge Childrens Foundation WINTER 2012

    Four-year-old Gabriel Leith was born with a condition that greatly affects his mobility and strength. But with family support and the dedicated team at Good Samaritan Childrens Therapy Unit (CTU), theres no telling how far he can go.

    Five months into Julie Leiths second pregnancy, an ultrasound showed that her unborn baby was suffering from a congenital disorder. But it wasnt until her son was born at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital that doctors could make the diagnosis: severe amyoplasia arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. For Gabriel, the condition

    has resulted in joint contractures (permanent shortening of joints) and muscle weakness throughout his entire body.

    Unable to breathe on his own or swallow, Gabriel spent more than a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Tacoma General. The good news is, arthrogryposis is worst the day that children are born, Julie said. And cognitively, Gabriel is very bright. One of the NICU nurses described him as having an old soul.

    On November 1, 2008, the little boy was strong enough to go home. He required a sleep apnea monitor, a feeding tube, a suction machine and oxygen. The first nine months I didnt sleep much, Julie said. I worried he would stop breathing.

    Hope and supportTherapy is critical to improving Gabriels mobility, strength and function. During the first two years, he saw a lot of local therapists, said Julie, who lives in Chehalis. Then someone recommended the CTU. Nothing compares. Were able to get all the help he needs in one place.

    The CTU pediatric therapists are committed to helping children with special needs become as functional and independent as possible. Every Friday morning, the Leith family makes the long drive to Puyallup for occupational, physical and speech therapy. Everyone there is wonderful, Julie said. Theyre like family.

    Collaboration and creativityHaving everything under one roof allows for a level of collaboration that is difficult to match, said pediatric physical therapist Brenna Brandsma.

    Her initial goal was to build Gabriels confidence and trust. Now he really enjoys his therapy time. He is much braver and more willing to try new activities. Brenna works with him on everything from range of motion to stretching, sitting balance and mobility. She also manages his orthotics and equipment.

    Crawl, walk, run, stroll or roll at Sound

    to Narrows 3Celebrating


    4Mary Bridge

    volunteer makes a Legacy gift 6

    T O U C H I N GL I V E SGood Samaritan Foundation Mary Bridge Childrens Foundation MultiCare Health Foundation SPRING 2013

    Helping children reach their fullest potential

    L to R: Steve Shores, Gabe Leith, Jill Conner and Brenna Brandsma

    Cont. on page 2.

    Gabe with his mom, Julie

  • How 3D mammography worksTomosynthesis (3D mammography) takes multiple images of the breast in just seconds and converts the images into thin layers or slices. Radiologists can examine one slice at a time, so they can better detect even small cancers while ruling out anomalies.

    Steve Shores is a pediatric occupational therapist specializing in assistive technology for the CTU. He loves working with children and their families, and loves figuring out how to modify equipment so that its aesthetic, safe, economical and therapeutically functional.

    Steve and his colleagues adapted a motorized wheelchair for Gabriel. Because his head is the most functional part of his body, switches were integrated into the headrest so he could steer. It took some time for him to get comfortable, but then his learning curve skyrocketed, Steve said.

    Speech therapy is another crucial part of his treatment. Jill Conner, speech therapist, engages Gabriel in a variety of activities and games to help further his communication skills. Hes made tremendous progress in the past 15 months, she noted.

    Jill finds that working with her colleagues really helps us meet the needs of the whole child. For example, Steve will position Gabriel for a certain activity, then Jill will help the little boy successfully communicate with others during the activity.

    Donor support is integral to the many programs and services that the CTU provides families like the Leiths. Some of our clients need services that insurance does not always cover, Brenna said. Without donor funding, we wouldnt be able to do the work we do.

    Making great stridesEvery day, Gabriel and his family face numerous challenges. He needs 24-hour care. He has a tracheotomy tube to keep his airway open as well as a feeding tube. He must wear splints, a torso brace and ankle/foot orthotics.

    Yet Julie knows that the skys the limit for her son. A year ago, he couldnt sit and hold his head up unassisted. Now he can. He has also learned to walk using a walker. He may not do things in the conventional way but hell do it Gabriels way. The CTU can make anything possible.


    Opened in 2009, this non-profit breast imaging center is named in honor of Carol Milgard, a long-time Tacoma resident, philanthropist and breast cancer survivor. The Carol Milgard Breast Center is jointly owned by MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System, and managed by TRA Medical Imaging.

    About the Carol Milgard Breast Center

    Bringing groundbreaking 3D mammography to our regionWomen throughout Pierce and King counties will soon benefit from a powerful new tool in the fight against breast cancer.

    Thanks to the vision, leadership and generosity of the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, the Carol Milgard Breast Center was awarded a $2.75 million grant to provide 3D mammography to patients.

    Breast tomosynthesis (tomo) technology offers a three-dimensional view of breast tissue, with greater detail and accuracy over traditional imaging.

    Tomo improves breast cancer detection by 10 to 30 percent. With earlier detection of smaller cancers, there are more treatment options and more lives saved. Tomo also reduces the number of false positives by as much as 30 percent, sparing patients the anxiety, inconvenience and expense of returning for another procedure.

    Inspiring teamwork for womens health

    Tomo is groundbreaking technology. But just as extraordinary is the inspirational role that a private family foundation has played in improving health care in its community. The Gary E. Milgard Foundation has prompted focused, long-term collaboration among the major health care organizations in the greater community to improve breast health.

    It is quite clear that the Milgard Family Foundation is visionary when it comes to health care for women in our community, stated Diane Cecchettini, RN, President and CEO of MultiCare Health System. They have been instrumental in fostering ongoing teamwork, she added, referring to the combined efforts of Franciscan Health System, MultiCare, TRA Medical Imaging

    and Diagnostic Imaging Northwest to bring tomo technology to clinics throughout the region.

    Six tomo units will be installed in the Carol Milgard Breast Center in the summer of 2013. Within the next two years, additional tomo locations will include Gig Harbor, Auburn, Covington, Puyallup/Sunrise, Federal Way, Bonney Lake and Auburn.

    It is our goal to make sure that our entire community has access to the best in breast health care, explained Christine Zemanek, CEO of the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation. We are gratified to have these key players working together for the good of the whole. This partnership, plus the dramatic acceleration of new technology, is resulting in earlier detection. Its saving lives!

    Cont. from page 1.

  • 3Its not about the food although the Pierce County Rotary Clubs who support the Alaska Airlines Courage Classic with incredible meals earn rave reviews from our riders! Every year, hundreds of bicyclists ascend and descend three daunting mountain passes in the Cascade Range, traveling 173 miles in three days.

    The ride touches many lives the riders, their sponsors, the volunteers and especially the children who are served by the Child Abuse Intervention Department at Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital. The department treats over 1,100 children annually who have been the victims of sexual assault or abuse. The stories are heartbreaking, the care is critical and support from Courage Classic and the community is very much

    Yes, you are invited!

    This popular event, presented by the Korum for Kids Foundation, has a tradition of selling out and a tradition of supporting the Childrens Therapy Unit (CTU) at Good

    Samaritan Hospital.

    The CTU has its own unique building, the Ark, designed to be a playful and purposeful setting for special needs children.

    These young patients, from toddlers to teenagers, receive innovative, individualized therapies, customized equipment and the latest technologies to help each of them realize his or her possibilities. For an autistic child who cannot bear to be touched, this may mean gaining the ability to hug his mom or shake hands when introduced. For a child with cerebral palsy, this can be the day her wheelchair is shoved into a corner and she walks across the room while her parents cheer through their tears. For some children and their families, even the smallest accomplishments represent unimaginable strides that would not have happened without the CTU and the CTU would not have happened without consistent support from the

    GOLF CLASSICFRIDAY July 19, 2013



    Thank you to all who attended, shopped and waved your bid cards, raising $1.7 million to support Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital!With gratitude to the co-presenting sponsors:Associated Petroleum Products, Inc. (APP) Emerald Queen Casino (EQC) Potelco, Inc.Propel Insurance Tacoma Rainiers Mary Bridge Brigade


    A delightful blend of wine tasting, dining and a lively auction, this event attracts a cadre of Northwest winemakers and wine aficionados as well as the many members of the community who have a big heart for Good Samaritan Hospital and the critical services it provides.

    What a run! Roman Meal Sound to Narrows is a tradition and one of the oldest organized runs on the West Coast. From diaper-dash toddlers to active octogenarians, the community gathers to crawl, walk, run, stroll or roll along 2K, 5K or 12K courses. Despite the festive atmosphere, this is a race that puts runners to the test there are some infamous hills along this challenging course!

    Roman Meal Sound to Narrows promotes the health of the community and benefits the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living.

    Fun-raising events to support the health of our communities


  • 4

    Our volunteer organizations

    With approximately 850 members in 37 guilds, and more than $30 million raised to date, Mary Bridge Brigade is a powerful force.

    Were very proud of what we do, said Sue Richey, Brigade President and a former teacher. Children have always been my life. And its so rewarding to work with people on the board, in the guilds and at the hospital.

    Originally the Tacoma Orthopedic Association, the Brigade was born in 1921 to reach out to underprivileged children who needed medical care. Later, members launched a fundraising campaign to help build MultiCare Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital, which opened in 1955.

    For the health and safety of children

    Today, members continue to devote themselves to Mary Bridge, ensuring that children in our community receive the care they deserve regardless of the familys ability to pay. The Brigade contributes to a variety of pediatric services and programs, as well as major campaigns.

    To raise funds, members share their time, resources and hearts in many ways from supporting Mary Bridge Festival of Trees, to selling handcrafted items, to hosting wine tastings and auctions. One of the Brigades most

    popular and profitable fundraisers is the Holiday Wreath Sale, which involves dozens of volunteers and thousands of wreaths.

    The Mary Bridge Gift Shops, located inside Mary Bridge and Tacoma General are also beloved. All proceeds go to Mary Bridge programs and services.

    In addition to raising funds, were here to be a service to patients and families and staff, said Linda Armstrong, Gift Shops Manager, whos been a part of the Brigade for nearly 20 years. The shops are a destination and a place of serenity for patients and visitors.

    Shes particularly grateful for the friendships shes

    developed with the dozens of hard-working volunteers who keep things running smoothly. I dont know what Id do without these ladies.

    Looking toward the future

    As president, Sue is excited to keep spreading the word about the Brigade. We look forward to continuing to be a viable organization, and to reach people who have a love of helping and caring for childrens health. Its a very special organization to be a part of.

    Mary Bridge Brigade: Champions for childrens health

    New Name, Same Commitment

    Fifteen caring women started the Tacoma Orthopedic Association (TOA) in 1921, at a time when many children were facing orthopedic issues and years before Mary Bridge welcomed its first patients.

    To better reflect the organization of today, the board of trustees voted to officially change the name of TOA to Mary Bridge Brigade. One thing that will never change? Members will always be champions for childrens health.

    Sheilah Webb, volunteer, Mary Bridge Health Center gift shop

    L to R: Joan Shelman, Sue Richey, Julie Horschel, Jo Roller

    Becky Martinson, volunteer, in the main lobby of the building thats home to Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital

    and Tacoma General Hospital

  • 5A desire to be a light in this world, is what drew Janet Salisbury to Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary more than five years ago. Recently named president of the Auxiliary, I love teaming up with the other volunteers. Its empowering.

    The Auxiliary was formed in 1953 by a group of 45 women who volunteered at Puyallups Good Samaritan and Lutheran Minor hospitals (merging in 1958 to become Good Samaritan Hospital). Members sewed items for the nursery, restocked medical cabinets and held rummage sales. The generosity and compassion of those early volunteers continues today.

    For the wellbeing of the community

    Auxiliary members have contributed millions of hours and raised more than $4 million dollars since 1982. Funds are primarily raised through the hospitals gift shops and Grannies Attic Thrift Shop.

    Grannies Attic started 15 years ago as a two-day sale, eventually blossoming into an impressive second-hand store. Kat Boyle, who has served as manager for seven years, cant imagine working anywhere else. Every day is a great adventure, she said. What makes her job so special is the...


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