Heart Health

At CHI Health, We Are Bigger Than Me

May 24, 2010
CHI Health

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At CHI Health, We Are Bigger Than Me

Today is a big day for us here at CHI Health … we are excited to introduce our very first guest blogger – Tessa Gifford! Tessa is the Annual Giving Officer here at CHI Health, and she recently pulled together a successful internal giving campaign we refer to as, “Philanthropy at Work.” 


I am often asked by family, friends, and acquaintances over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, “What do you like about your job”. Unlike most small talk conversations, this is one I always look forward to having because I love my job at CHI Health. I have the fortune of serving as the Annual Giving Officer for the CHI Health Foundation — in short, I am paid to help people fulfill their wish to make a difference in our community. How many people get to say that?!

As part of my position, I am privileged to lead our internal employee giving campaign. For months I worked with over 100 employees, who we call Campaign Champions, across the system who volunteered their time and talent to ensure we planned a successful campaign. Then, with fingers-crossed, we officially kicked off on April 12, 2010. The Champions hosted BBQ’s, raffles, bake sales and took time to visit each department at the hospitals delivering treats and answering questions. The response of the CHI Health Family has been phenomenal; employees have pledged more than $500,000 to support CHI Health projects, programs and services.

That’s right, more than $500,000! The possibilities for making a difference are endless. Employee gifts will support the creation of a healing garden at Mercy Hospital to offer patients, families, visitors and staff a quiet place for reflection. Other gifts will be used to make sure every patient goes home with needed medication whether they can afford it or not. Still other gifts provide resources for individuals and families experiencing the loss of a loved one—a 20-week-old fetus, a 90-year-old great-grandparent or anyone in between. And these are just a few of the areas employee gifts will have an impact. There’s also rehabilitation, oncology, behavioral health, cardiology and the list goes on!

I hope you are starting to see why I enjoy my job so much, but there’s another dimension – an even greater source of pride: my extended family. I am amazed at the selfless, compassionate individuals I am humbled to call my co-workers. Individuals that spend each day providing quality care to strangers as if they were family, working to ensure the best possible outcome whether that means staying late, coming in early or covering a shift. Nurses, technology support staff, food service associates – it doesn’t matter what position is held; collectively we work together to accomplish our Mission. This attitude is reflected in the campaign theme, We Are Bigger Than Me. And so, it is with humility and pride that I thank CHI Health employees for finding yet another way to make a difference in the communities we serve.

I encourage you to take a moment to meet some of these incredible individuals by viewing this campaign video. Hear firsthand why they feel compelled to support the CHI Health ministry. Like me, you will surely feel inspired to make a difference.

– Tessa Gifford, Annual Giving Officer, CHI Health

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