St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation
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The Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s, a leadership network of community-minded women who invest annual membership gifts, celebrates a significant milestone this year. With its 2017 grant, which purchased a 3D Echocardiography Unit and an HD Video Endoscopic Tower for St. Joseph’s Heart Institute, the group reached $1 million in donations that support health care for women, children and families at St. Joseph’s Hospitals.
Dr. Andrew Sherman, who serves as the Chief of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital, recently spoke to the group about their contribution saying, “The video tower has enabled us to perform a new minimally invasive procedure to treat patients in Atrial Fibrillation. We have gained national and international exposure and serve as a training site for most physicians throughout the United States.”
AFib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia, affecting approximately 2.6 million Americans. It causes the heart to beat too fast, too slow or with an irregular rhythm, increasing the risk of stroke.
Established in 2009, the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s have changed and saved lives in the Tampa Bay community by supporting innovative and life-saving services and technology at St. Joseph’s Hospitals. Past projects funded include equipment for special needs children and breast cancer patients, neonatal intensive care, immunizations and exams for kids in underserved areas, and emergency care for adults and children.
Click here to learn more about the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s or how to become a member
Every Wednesday morning on WFLA News Channel 8, we are celebrating people who are a “Gr8 Inspiration.”
Through their work, volunteer efforts or just everyday living, they touch the lives of others.
Betty Harmon is a Gr8 Inspiration to cancer patients. She’s worked as patient care technician at Tampa’s St. Joseph’s Hospital for 46 years.
“I just love it, the more I do it the more I love it. I just love taking care of patients,” said the 79-year-old.
You would never know Harmon is pushing 80, as she moves actively through the hallways of the 3rd-floor cancer unit at St. Joe’s.
When she makes her way into care for patients, that’s when everything changes, with her gift of bringing peace and tranquility to those suffering through treatments.
“She’s sweet, she’s caring, there are times when I can’t even bathe myself and she helps me so gently.” said Kashonna Arline, a cancer patient at St. Joseph’s main hospital.
Betty is a cancer survivor herself, which creates another strong bond with her patients.
“She told me her story, I told her my story and we just kind of clicked since then,” said Arline.
For Betty, this is a calling, to help her patients heal.
“I just lay my hands on them and I tell them you’re going to be alright, I’m going to help take care of you, and God is going to take care of you and everything is going to be fine,” she said.
Betty Harmon is a Tampa Bay Gr8 Inspiration.
Cheval residents Eugene and Norma Ymiolek feel blessed that St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is so close to their home. Their long-standing trust in St. Joseph’s, and their admiration for St. Marie Celeste Sullivan motivated their gift of support, which is recognized at the hospital’s Chapel.
Nora Musselman has been an ambassador for St. Joseph’s Hospital for more than 25 years. Sister Marie Celeste may have had unique insights when in 1983 she invited Nora to become a member of the St. Joseph’s Development Council, a friend-raising group for the hospital. Since then Nora has been involved in the campaigns to build the children’s hospital, the critical care tower, and the new St. Joseph’s-North. She had also established and chaired the foundation’s Steppin’ Out Gala, which has raised nearly $4 million for the hospitals, in fact, the board elected to dedicate the eleventh gala to her. Nora has chaired the boards of the children’s hospital and the development council and now serves on the boards of both St. Joseph’s Hospital and its foundation and the BayCare Health System. She also has traveled to Washington DC several times with hospital administrators to advocate for children’s issues.
“I can’t imagine being involved. St. Joseph’s Hospital is a big part of my life,” says Nora.
Husband Don, officially retired from Executone Systems, is waiting for Nora to scale back her volunteering ways so they can follow their passion for travel without consulting her calendar. Despite Nora’s heavy schedule, the couple has traveled around the world, taking trips with their children and neighbors to places as exotic as Bora Bora and as nearby as the Bahamas.
Nora’s passion for St. Joseph’s Hospital is known throughout the community, so it’s no surprise that her neighbors share their St. Joseph’s experiences with her. And she’s continually connecting new people with the hospitals. Most recently she hosted two gatherings with hospital administrators and her neighbors to introduce them to the North hospital.
Nora traces her desire to give back to the Franciscan Sisters who educated her in Panama and to Sister Marie Celeste, who Nora says inspired her to remain involved year after year. Nora hopes to pass that passion on to her three children and her six grandchildren.
A mother/baby patient room at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is named for Nora and Don Musselman.
There will be women who are spared a breast biopsy thanks to a gift of ultrasound technology from Frank and Diana Llaneza and their family.
Each day more than a hundred and fifty women turn to The Breast Center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital for advanced diagnostic and treatment options. They are usually women who are at high risk for breast cancer, or who had received results of a suspicious lump from a previous exam.
“Women in our family have needed the services of The Breast Center,” said daughter Carol Jean Llaneza-Jones. “And all of us have received care from one or more areas throughout St. Joseph’s. Helping the hospital have what it needs to provide for the community is a pleasure.”
The Breast Ultrasound plays a vital role in the diagnostic process, serving as an additional diagnostic exam for women with an abnormal mammogram to determine if a biopsy is recommended. Following the detection of a mass, an ultrasound uses sound waves to differentiate a solid tumor from a cyst, where biopsies are usually unnecessary.
The Llaneza’s gift of $100,000 immediately made possible for an additional ultrasound, featuring the most advanced technology and large flatscreen for superior viewing. An additional 50 women each week – or 2,500 in the next year – will now be able to have an ultrasound faster and more conveniently.