St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation
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Paula McGuiness expected to stay at St. Joseph’s for a few years as an operating room nurse and then move on to other opportunities. Nearly 40 years later, she’s still at the hospital, now as the chief operating officer of the new St. Joseph’s Hospital-North.
“The surprise for me was that all of those great opportunities were here within St. Joseph’s,” says Paula. “I’ve been blessed that those who have touched my life allowed me to grow and saw things in me that I didn’t know were there.”
Paula eased into hospital administration in 1978 when she took over management of the operating room and then became director of surgical services. Next, she helped develop the open heart program, and then she helped design and establish the outpatient surgery center. Paula eventually became director of the surgical center and diagnostic imaging services for St. Joseph’s. In 2000, she started working on the design and development of the new hospital and became its COO in 2007.
“This truly has been an experience of a lifetime,” she says. However, opening the new hospital is just the beginning. “A hospital is not only about bricks and mortar,” she says. “It’s about choosing the right people, becoming part of a community, and meeting your financial obligations so you can maintain and sustain a healthy organization now and into the future.”
Commitment and community are reoccurring themes in a conversation with Paula. She talks about commitment to caring for the physical and emotional well being of patients and their families, her commitment to supporting her team and the leaders of the other St. Joseph’s hospitals, and the new hospital’s commitment to the local community. One way Paula plans to build relationships with residents is through educational programs about health issues and treatment options held in the hospital classrooms long before that care is needed.
The classrooms at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North are named for Paula McGuiness.
Until their first grandchild arrived in 2009, John and Fran Borreca would have claimed travel as their primary passion. Now trips to California wine country, the Colorado mountains, and cruises in Europe take a back seat to Evan, who was born at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and lives only about 30 minutes away from them.
Having family close has been a lifelong gift for John and Fran. They each moved to Tampa from greater New York City in the early 1970s as teenagers, and their families ended up as next-door neighbors. After they married, the couple spent a few years in Texas and then in New Jersey before moving back to Tampa, but their parents continued to live side-by-side for years. A visit to one set of parents naturally became a visit to both.
Now retired—John as president and CEO of Celotex, which manufactured building materials, and Fran from the accounting office of Moffitt Cancer Center—the Borrecas spend a lot of their free time involved with St. Joseph’s. John previously chaired the board of BayCare Health System and had served on the St. Joseph’s Hospital board since 2001.
They also experienced the compassionate care of the St. Joseph’s team members when their grandson Evan spent the first week of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit due to a heart irregularity.
The Borrecas know that being involved in their community can have a significant impact on others, and they believe that giving back is the right thing to do. “We’ve been extraordinarily blessed as a family, the life we have, the kids we have,” says John. “It’s appropriate to give of our time and our finances to support St. Joseph’s.”
The Family Resource Lounge at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is named for John and Francine Borreca.
Jerry Archibald’s relationship with St. Joseph’s Hospital began in 1968 when a train hit his car at an unmarked railroad crossing in northern Hillsborough County. “I thought I was going to die,” Jerry recalls. “I could hardly breathe.” When he arrived at St. Joseph’s, “It was a great feeling seeing a nurse, and she said, ‘You’ll be okay.’” Over the years Jerry estimates he’s been in the St. Joseph’s emergency room more than a dozen times, including when his wife Suzie was cared for at the hospital after a severe car accident in 1980.
When the new St. Joseph’s Hospital-North opened, the Archibalds knew they wanted to give back to the institution that had always cared for them. It’s also part of a larger pattern in their lives. They like to help people directly, much like the way Jerry was helped when growing up as the son of a single mother in New Port Richey. “People there were always watching out for me,” he says, whether it was baskets of food during the holidays or jobs and small investment opportunities.
“I’ve been very fortunate in business,” says Jerry, who founded and sold three banks during his career. “You can’t just take in life. You have to give something back.” The Archibalds give back in another way, through their dog, Bailey, who was recently named one of America’s most loveable pets by the television show “Wheel of Fortune.” “Everyone is drawn to Bailey,” says Suzie of the Poodle/Shih-Tzu mix they adopted from the Humane Society of Tampa. Pet therapy is on the horizon for Bailey, but even more, she is an ambassador for the Humane Society. “I want to make sure everyone knows where she came from,” says Suzie. “There are real gems there.”
An ICU patient room at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is named for Gerald and Suzie Archibald.
Isaac and Lois Mallah moved to Tampa in 1976 when he took a one-year internship with St. Joseph’s Hospital as part of his master’s degree program in healthcare administration. At the end of his internship, CEO Sister Marie Celeste offered Isaac a one-year appointment, after which he was asked to stay. Since then, Isaac has had responsibility for every function in the hospital and eventually became president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1997 until his retirement in 2013.
Isaac could have become CEO faster by moving from hospital to hospital, a typical career path for many administrators, but he and Lois decided stability for their family was more important than a title. “I was never driven by the title as much as I was by doing something that was meaningful, that I enjoyed, and by working with people, I respected,” Isaac says. So St. Joseph’s kept offering him ways to grow. “The hospital expanded not only regarding physical size, but also in services, scope, size of its medical staff, and complexity. It provided all the things I needed professionally.”
The couple describes themselves as homebodies who love to go out to eat and spend time with their two children. Both still live in the Tampa area. Lois’s passion is cooking and baking. Isaac’s is to find recreational activities that turn his focus away from work and help him recharge. He plays golf, builds computers, details cars, and design editing software.
Lois is accommodating of these passions that Isaac calls his “craziness” because she knows he can’t sit still, and they help him manage the challenging task of positioning the hospitals to ensure their long-term survival and prosperity. “Being responsible for the legacy of the Sisters, making sure we can continue the organization’s quality health care mission, and keeping 5,000 people employed are responsibilities I take very seriously,” says Isaac.
The garden atrium at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is named for Isaac and Lois Mallah.
Elaine Shimberg found the lump in her breast in 1981. She’d had cysts before, but this one was different. It was small, and it hurt. She wanted a biopsy. Her doctor said they’d monitor the cyst, but Elaine insisted. “I’ve always been attuned to my body, and I said, ‘This one’s different.’” The subsequent biopsy confirmed her suspicion. Elaine had breast cancer. She was 44.
“I was frightened. My youngest child was 10. I wanted to see him, and his four siblings grow up. I was really concerned about leaving my children with them at such a young age.”
Elaine had a mastectomy and radiation at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Twenty-nine years later, she remains cancer-free, but memories of that time endure. To help other women who face breast cancer and to support the hospital she has come to love, Elaine and her husband, Hinks, gave the lead gift for the new Shimberg Breast Center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital.
Breast cancer is on the rise in this country. Today one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease at some time in their life, up from one in 12 just a few decades ago. Research has yet to confirm the cause, but many speculate it’s environmental pollution. At the same time, the death rate is decreasing, primarily due to early detection and treatment. Cancers discovered at stage one, like Elaine’s (2 centimeters or less in size), are 99 percent curable. Sophisticated digital mammography machines make it possible to detect cancers as small as one centimeter, further increasing the survival rate after diagnosis.
The breast center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital has always focused on serving women whose regular mammogram revealed an abnormality, so long waits for services only prolong the anxiety of patients. “I don’t think any woman who finds a lump should have to wait to have it checked,” Elaine says, “and they shouldn’t have to wait to have it taken care of.”
The Shimbergs have been helping to educate women about breast cancer since 1978 when, through their charitable foundation, they produced a video for television on how to do breast self-examination. The controversial spot included the first image of a naked breast ever shown on television and aired in national and international markets. “We had people writing to us, saying—‘You saved my life,’” says Elaine.
The Shimberg’s gift to the breast center is their largest to St. Joseph’s in a relationship that spans more than 25 years, starting when Elaine joined the St. Joseph’s Development Council in 1982. In 1993, she joined the hospital’s board and served a two-year term as its chair, and since 1999 has also served on the hospital’s foundation board.
Numerous Tampa Bay organizations have benefited from the Shimbergs long-term commitment to the community. “Elaine and Hinks are an amazing role model of community leadership,” said SJH Foundation president Deborah Kotch. “It’s not that they give their money. They give of themselves. They set the example for their children and the community.”
A gift from Hinks and Elaine Shimberg has been recognized at the Shimberg Breast Center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital.