St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation
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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.
Christmas came early this year with over $120,000 in monetary donations and toys for the extraordinary children at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. On Friday, July 27, 2018, Santa and his elves arrived for a day of excitement and holiday spirit, bringing joy and comfort to all. The day included event coverage by on-air personalities Jen Epstein and Walter Allen from Fox 13, Phoebe from Magic 94.9, and guest appearances from the Tampa Yankees, Chick-fil-A cows, Rocky D. Bull, and the Children’s Hospital’s own UnMonsters. It was an exciting day, and your donations will continue to keep up the spirits of St. Joe’s kids all year long!
To keep pediatric patients entertained and engaged, Child Life Specialists often involve children in various activities, including music and art therapy. To help their efforts, the Foundation produced an 8-page coloring book featuring the Hospital’s very own UnMonsters. While our doctors and nurses are busy taking care of patients, these coloring books help visits to the emergency room, clinics and doctors offices less stressful. The children have an opportunity to color all of their favorite characters, including Fretta, Tizzy, and Jitters. These friendly monsters remind kids and their parents that sometimes the things that scare us aren’t so bad after all.
Studies have shown that coloring helps reduce stress and promote relaxation by calming the part of the brain that engages our fear and stress response, focusing the mind on the present moment. Coloring books engage children’s creative and active enthusiasm, all while developing a child’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
These fun UnMonster coloring books came to fruition with inspiration by request through the Humanity Grants Program, a program where St. Joseph’s Hospitals Foundation invests in projects and ideas generated by team members that will bring care and comfort to patients and their families.
If you would like to sponsor a coloring book for St. Joe’s kids, click here.
Hyundai Hope On Wheels celebrates its 20th year in the fight against pediatric cancer research. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital was one of only 21 recipients of this year’s award, given to support outstanding pediatric oncology programs at select children’s hospitals nationwide. Tuesday, July 31, Dr. Mark Mogul, the medical director of pediatric hematology and oncology, accepted a $100,000 Hyundai Impact Award on behalf of the kids of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. With this latest grant, the hospital has received more than $1,000,000 in grants from Hope on Wheels and Suncoast Hyundai Dealers. The grant will help fund direct patient assistance, treatments, and supportive therapies for families in need.
“Throughout the country, talented doctors are working tirelessly to help kids fight cancer by conducting research or providing bedside care,” said Scott Fink, chairman, Hyundai Hope On Wheels Board of Directors. “Our goal at Hope On Wheels is to provide these doctors with the funds they need to perform their lifesaving work.”
During the event, some of the children were able to participate in the program’s signature Handprint Ceremony, in which they dip their hands in paint and place their handprints on a white 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. Their colorful handprints on the official Hope Vehicle represent their individual and collective journeys, hopes, and dreams.