Susan Unger, President of St. Luke's Foundation
Connecting donors' passions with the needs of Siouxland
A Sioux City, Iowa native, Susan Unger knows firsthand the impact St. Luke's has on Siouxland. Susan's own father received cardiac care at St. Luke's, she celebrated the birth of her daughter in the hospital's birth center, and sadly, Susan's mother passed away at St. Luke's.
"I know what it's like to be both a patient and loved one of someone at St. Luke's, and the deeply important emotional connection patients, families and St. Luke's staff share during a patient's time at St. Luke's," she says.
Susan realized her own love for philanthropy the very first time she had the privilege of connecting a donor's passion with the organization's need. Throughout her long career in philanthropy and work with St. Luke's, which began nearly 25 years ago, Susan continues to be inspired by donors' dreams to make the local community a better place for future generations.
"Our supporters want to be a part of transforming healthcare at St. Luke's, and donors know I am committed to discovering ways of helping achieve their dreams. I am truly one of the luckiest people, because I have the privilege of working and knowing those who share this vision and seeing the sense of joy and accomplishment they feel when their own passions are ignited."
Anne Holmes, Director of Children's Miracle Network
A leap of faith to make a world of difference
A career in television provided Cherokee, Iowa native Anne Holmes with many things including a fast-paced life and the bright lights of the big city. It also provided her with something unexpected-the realization she had the ability to do more.
An opportunity to work alongside Children's Miracle Network at an event five years ago further fueled Anne's passion to make a difference.
"In 2009, the TV station I was working at partnered with Children's Miracle Network for a three-week event. It was my first, direct involvement with the organization, and I was surprised by the volunteers' commitment and passion as well as the event's goal of $25,000. It was only enough to cover the cost of one NICU bed," recalls Anne. "I was moved to tears at the end of the event, overwhelmed by the selflessness of people who were giving to kids they may never meet."
Soon after, Holmes left her job in TV and went to work for a local health care system where she handled media relations for Children's Miracle Network. A difficult pregnancy and unexpected premature delivery of her son Hayden two years later re-ignited Holmes' passion for Children's Miracle Network-and a desire to move back closer to home.
"Since our son was born, we have quickly learned it takes a village to raise a child. My position with St. Luke's Children's Miracle Network is a perfect fit for me, my husband and son because it allowed us to move closer to home. Plus, it gives me a chance to give back to Children's Miracle Network and make a difference for kids in years to come," says Anne. "Every child deserves a childhood. If we can buy one more piece of equipment that might give that to a child, it's worth it."
The generosity of Children's Miracle Network supporters and families continues to amaze Anne even years after her first experience with the organization.
"Some families have little bumps in the road at the beginning of their baby's life, some have life-long challenges. At the end of the day, they are all connected by the love for their children, shared feelings of uncertainty, concern and hope for the future and their gratitude for St. Luke's Children's Miracle Network."
Ranee Ehrich, Director of Annual Giving
Providing Excellent Care in a Community She Loves
There is plenty that Ranee Ehrich appreciates about Siouxland, but at the top of the list is its size. Nottoo big, and not too small. Living in that "sweet spot" makes her work as the Director of Annual Giving at the St. Luke's Foundation especially rewarding.
"I have been fortunate that my professional roles have allowed me to be involved in the community, and Sioux City is a great community to support," she says. "The area is large enough to obtain support for a wide variety of projects, but small enough that you can see the impact."
In her role at the St. Luke's Foundation, Ranee is responsible for creating and executing fundraising strategies for the annual giving campaign, which enables the development of new and expanded programs, facility enhancements and more.
Ranee brings wide-ranging fundraising, marketing and sales experience to the job. For the past three years, she served as the Director of Marketing and Development at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City.
"My work at Holy Spirit Retirement Home helped me to gain an appreciation for the importance private donors play in providing excellent care in our community," Ranee says. "That experience made it clear that I wanted to work in healthcare and in a faith-based environment. It is rewarding to make a difference in people's healthcare through philanthropy.
Ranee counts it as a bonus that she gets to work in support of an organization like St. Luke's.
"I had both of my children at St. Luke's, and through my experience, I knew I had to become a part of this awesome organization," she says. "Healthcare is constantly changing. In the Foundation, we play an important role in ensuring top-notch care is always available by working with the community to develop private support. We are helping donors become part of something larger than themselves by contributing to our Foundation. In doing so, these donors are touching countless lives in Siouxland. It is very rewarding to be a part of it all."
Ranee earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She and husband, Jack, have two children.
Christy Stinger, Foundation Supervisor
Understanding the impact of giving back
Ask Christy Stinger what philanthropy means to her, and her answer may surprise you.
"When you believe in something, it's less about fundraising and more about your excitement and passion for a project-and inviting others to share that with you," says Christy, a South Sioux City native.
Past experience as a reporter in Clarinda, Iowa, fueled Christy's fresh perspective on fundraising. She witnessed first-hand the impact gifts could have on those in the small Iowan community, even volunteering herself after covering a story about the need for volunteers at the local Humane Society. A position in marketing and development at Jackson Recovery Centers in Sioux City, helping the team raise funds for the organization's Child and Adolescent Recovery Hospital, furthered Christy's belief in the power of giving back.
"When you invite people to make a difference in the lives of others, whether through giving of time, expertise or funds, people are incredibly generous. Giving to something that makes a difference feels great," she says.
Today, as Development Coordinator for St. Luke's Foundation, Christy's goal is to make sure donors understand the impact of their gifts. Most remarkably says Christy is that donors have the unique opportunity to give to their passions. If a donor wants to help cardiac patients, they can contribute to heart care at St. Luke's. Or, if their passion is to enhance a patient's overall experience, there are opportunities to give back to the Levitt Guest Center, neonatal intensive care unit or other funds adds Christy.
"We want every person who gives to St. Luke's Foundation to understand how grateful we are and how their generosity impacts the entire Siouxland community."
Elizabeth Rossiter, Development Coordinator of Children's Miracle Network
Giving back to the community that helped foster her growth
Elizabeth feels that she chose the right organization to work for every day that she comes to work at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's. She has grown so accustomed to the culture, and even more comfortable with the team that she works with, that it's hard for her to imagine life before working here.
She loves showing the community members that they matter and are valued. Getting out into the community and making connections with local members and businesses is a perk that Elizabeth enjoys. "I am just so 'wowed' by the feeling that I get working for the UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Foundation.
Born and raised in Sioux City, Elizabeth is committed to serving a community that has continually fostered her growth as a citizen and valued community member, and plans to use her skills, talents, and passions to make Sioux City a better place for ALL of its community members. "Having the opportunity to give back to my community through the St. Luke's Foundation is going to be an honor; one that I am eager and willing to take on head first."
"If there is anything in life you should invest in, whether it be financially, physically, or emotionally, it should be the healthcare system." Life is never promised, and you never know when you or a loved one might need the care or support from UnityPoint Health. That is why Elizabeth is making it her mission to support the St. Luke's Foundation in every facet that she can.
Monica Powers, Foundation Development Assistant
Being a rock of support for the Siouxland community
From the moment Monica Powers arrived at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's, she knew she was where she wanted to be. For this Creston, Iowa native, making a difference and celebrating generosity is a priority.
Philanthropy is a key part of Monica's role and is something she is no stranger to. She recently served as the president of a philanthropic group that managed to grant over $100,000 to nonprofits around Iowa.
She loves learning about other's passions and the root of what motivates people to care about a cause so deeply. Monica says when donors give, everyone benefits. "What a beautiful thing to partake in," she comments.
The supportive environment is an added bonus to what makes Monica's day-to-day so enjoyable. Being the rock of support for others is what defines UnityPoint Health and having the ability to be that rock is just a important to Monica.
"Many of us have been in difficult spots and people have helped us. In the foundation, it is so encouraging that we can be a part of serving others. Whether people are passionate about education, health care, children, or a variety of causes, we can can find a place for them.
UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Foundation Board:
- Amy Roth - Chairperson
- Mike Crone - Vice Chairperson
- Emily Mills - Secretary
- Matt Thompson
- Kyle Kelly
- John Wagner
- Joe Wren
- Jennifer Letch
- Tasha Barker
- Jeff Stanley
- Dr. Jeremy Granger