Hospital staff give hope from the heart

What do a pair of former cops, a girl from Compton who grew up to be a leader in the field of nursing, a compliance expert from the flinty shores of Maine, a self-described computer geek, a surgical tech with a fondness for colorful hats, and six other inspirational MLKCH staff have in common?

They comprise the leadership team of the fourth annual MLKCH Gives campaign, which has collectively raised more than $180,000. Under the banner of 'Hope from the Heart,' this year's campaign kicks off July 16 and will run through July 31.

Many of those on the leadership team are long-time supporters. Mary Weiler, Director, Medical Staff of MLKCH was the hospital's 50th employee and the first to suggest having an annual staff giving campaign —even before the hospital opened. She's been on the leadership committee every year.

“I think MLKCH Gives creates such a family feeling that we’re all doing this together," Mary said. "I think it shows that there’s a lot of heart here.”

Others, like Devone Deale, Manager of Public Safety, are participating on the campaign committee for the first time, in part because his boss, Joe Cruz, Director of Public Safety, encouraged him.

“If Joe’s going to do it, I’m going to do it,” says Devone. "He's a special person.”

Group of seven staff members making heart gestures with hands and smiling

I think MLKCH Gives creates such a family feeling that we're all doing this together. I think it shows that there's a lot of heart here.

Mary Weiler
Director, Medical Staff

Ultimately the Public Safety duo wants to bring their entire team along with them.

"Our goal is to get as many Public Safety employees to give as we can," says Devone. "We work as a team. We go out as a team. When people see us, they see us as part of a team."

Joe notes it’s important to model the hospital’s values.

“Here at MLKCH, it’s all about the heart.”

What he tells his employees about participating in MLKCH Gives: "Every little bit helps. Think with your heart."

Since 2015, nearly a thousand hospital staff, employees, contractors, vendors—and even community members—have participated in the hospital's annual giving campaign. Led by the MLK Community Health Foundation, MLKCH Gives reaches throughout the entire hospital to engage members of the MLKCH family in actively supporting the hospital's mission.

Gifts to the annual campaign go into the hospital's general fund, which supports patient care operations. Unlike most gifts from institutional funders, charitable gifts made to the general fund aren't earmarked for a specific program or piece of equipment.

Instead, general funds allow the hospital flexibility to respond where the needs are greatest. The high staff participation rate in the campaign—more than one-third of all MLKCH employees support the hospital—is hugely impressive to institutional funders and private donors, who see staff commitment as a sign of commitment to the community.

“It’s inspiring to see MLKCH staff live their values,” said Priscilla Valencia, coordinator of this year’s MLKCH Gives campaign. “It deepens our commitment to the important work we do, and it builds solidarity within our hospital family. Plus, you can get a cool beach towel!”

Members of the 2018 MLKCH Gives Leadership Team include

Rita Calderon, Manager, Med Surg Telemetry
Joe Cruz, Director, Public Safety
Devone Deale, Manager, Public Safety
Nickie Foots, Manager, Nursing Administration
Meg Grimaldi, Director of Compliance
Julius Janisse, Surg Tech, Perioperative Services
Danny Lujan, Director, HIT Program Management
Gina Paz, Manager, Maternal Child Health
Maria Sarabia, Care Coordinator, Care Management
Mary Weiler, Director, Medical Staff
Kiiyona White, Nursing Administration Supervisor

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