August 17, 2023 was a special day at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. That’s the day new patio furniture was put in place in the hospital’s courtyard, an effort organized by Shawano’s Friends of Hospice.
The funds to purchase the new furniture came from a major donation to the Friends of Hospice from the Meta and Bernadine Bartz estate. A generous discount from Senzig’s Fine Home Furnishings, supported by Todd and Wendy Senzig, also helped the cause. All the furniture on the courtyard was replaced, including new tables and chairs, as well as new benches at the hospital entrance and a new picnic table for the hospital employees’ outdoor space.
“ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano thanks the Friends of Hospice for identifying this need and organizing this effort,” said Kellie Diedrick, MBA, FACHE, interim vice president of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. “We sincerely value and appreciate what the Friends of Hospice do to support our local hospital. They are great partners in providing care for the people of this community.”
The Friends of Hospice was organized in 1992 when the Shawano Medical Center was established. Its mission is to support the volunteers and staff of the hospice center as well as to provide enhancements for the patients and their families to make the hospice experience easier. The group also provides education for the hospice staff, volunteers, and the community. The group’s funds are held within the ThedaCare Family of Foundations, which supports projects and programs at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Shawano.
For Elsie Greenhill, a member of the Friends of Hospice, replacing the furniture in the courtyard was a personal mission. Greenhill cared for her mother and husband prior to their passing, and she knows how special it was to be able to sit outside and enjoy nature with both of them.
“When my mother was in the nursing home, I’d take her into the home’s beautiful garden with its fountain and flowers, and she’d identify all the flowers and enjoy the beauty of nature,” recalled Greenhill. “Likewise, when my husband was receiving treatments at Froedtert Health, we’d often spend time outdoors in their gardens. It was a beautiful setting; so peaceful and relaxing. It helped us get away from the stress of what was happening in our lives.”
Greenhill explained the Friends of Hospice wanted to create that kind of setting in Shawano for patients and their families.
“This upgrade helps create a space where patients and families can go to relax and reflect,” she said. “The Friends of Hospice is delighted we were able to use some of the funds from the Bartz’ donation to make this happen.”
Diedrick said improving the courtyard is a wonderful gift for the hospital.
“Studies have shown that when people spend time in nature it can decrease their blood pressure and heart rate, and can help improve their pain tolerance,” said Diedrick. “Having this improved space is good our hospice patients, as well as other patients, team members and visitors. Even in the short time the new furniture has been in place, I’ve noticed team members enjoying their lunch in the courtyard. It is a wonderful respite spot.”
Diedrick also noted that Shawano is a community that values the outdoors.
“I’m told there are nearly two dozen parks in this community of about 9,000 people,” she said. “That certainly shows how much this community values nature, which makes it even more fitting that we have a comfortable place for our patients, staff and visitors to be outside.”
In addition to their efforts toward upgrading the hospital’s courtyard, the Friends of Hospice is sponsoring a retreat for hospice volunteers in September. It also will host a panel discussion for the public on Tuesday, October 24. That discussion will cover estate and funeral planning, as well as when hospice care is appropriate. Additional information will be shared with community members.
Heart of a Donor Series
This article is part of a planned series featuring generous donors who support the ThedaCare Family of Foundations. Donations to the ThedaCare Family of Foundations help fund projects and programs on many levels across the system. If you know a donor, or community organization, who has a connection to the ThedaCare Family of Foundations, and believe should be featured in the “Heart of a Donor” series, please email Foundations@thedacare.org.
To learn more about the ThedaCare Family of Foundations and the impact of donor support, please visit ThedaCare.org/Foundations.
ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano recently received new patio furniture for the hospital’s courtyard, an effort organized by Shawano’s Friends of Hospice. The funds to purchase the new furniture came from a major donation to the Friends of Hospice from the Meta and Bernadine Bartz estate. A generous discount from Senzig’s Fine Home Furnishings, supported by Todd and Wendy Senzig, also helped the cause. All the furniture on the courtyard was replaced, including new tables and chairs, as well as new benches at the hospital entrance and a new picnic table for the hospital employees’ outdoor space.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 650,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 providers and team members. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including eight hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique, best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts about a patient’s care. ThedaCare is proud to partner with Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network to enhance convenient access to the most advanced levels of specialty care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.