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Giving stories

  • David Erickson thumbnail size photoMr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack

    Baby aspirin. Three shots of morphine. An oxygen mask. The emergency room doctor leaning in close and saying very calmly, “Mr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack.” And within 14 minutes, an ambulance transfer to Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Fortunately for Erickson, he was at the hospital that set a national standard for treating cardiovascular emergencies. Within 10 minutes of his arrival, doctors were opening one blocked artery using angioplasty. 



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    Grief, gratitude and giving: A young family’s legacy

    When a life is measured in hours, not years, each moment is significant. The moments that Benita Bjorgo and Joe Van Sloun shared with their son, Aaron, before he died are among their most cherished memories. They were shaped in part by the sensitivity and compassion the couple observed in the nurses and doctors at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Donating to Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation is one way the couple chose to express their gratitude.


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    Years of worry end in one visit to the ED

    By the time Rosemary Petersen arrived at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Emergency Department, she had begun to think that doctors would never find the cause of her problem. 

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    Through scholarships, a nurse’s dedication lives on

    Scott Becker lost his wife, Jane, to cancer decades ago, just as she was starting her career as a nurse at Abbott Northwestern. In the difficult months following her death, Becker made a decision that helps others advance in the profession that Jane loved. He established the Jane Wachtler Becker fund through the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation to provide scholarship funds for nurses to continue their education.

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    A cardiac wake-up call, and care that changed a life

    Years after working as a registrar in Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Emergency Department, Kim Neuman returned. But this time it was as a patient in need of life-saving care for a heart attack.

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    A new era for neuroscience care

    A $2 million gift from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Critical Care Campaign will support the expansion of the hospital’s neurological intensive care unit to accommodate technological changes and better meet patient and family needs. The unit will be named the Richard M. Schulze Neurological Intensive Care Center when it opens in late 2017.




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    Remembering Virginia Piper and celebrating a milestone

    Virginia’s dedication to making life better for those around her lives on. She was the inspiration for the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute®, which was founded at Abbott Northwestern in 1993 by her husband, Harry, after she had died from pancreatic cancer.

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    Rod and Barbara Burwell: Inspire others to give

    The late Rod Burwell, who was one of the region’s leading entrepreneurs, had a knack for understanding an organization’s potential and generating the momentum needed for further growth and success. In 2014, he and his wife, Barbara, pledged $3 million to Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation’s Critical Care Campaign and served as a catalyst of a different sort.


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    What Dr. Jason Reed really learned from biology

    After a rigorous biology exam in high school, Jason Reed beamed when he saw an “A” on his test. His teacher, however, kept a stern face and said, “Now I know what you can do.”

    The lesson that Reed should strive for great, rather than good, stuck. It continues to serve him well as Abbott Northwestern’s chief of the Medical Staff, and as a Foundation donor and board member.

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    Carol Huttner's passion for advancing the nursing practice

    Carol Huttner, RN, BSN, MA, found a new way to share her passion for supporting nurses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

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    An enthusiastic donor gives from the heart

    Jack Spillane's experience as a patient led him to include Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation in his estate plan and become a President’s Circle donor.

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    Marie Slaton: Dr. Abbott’s 99-year-old granddaughter creates a legacy of her own

    Marie Slaton knows that her grandfather would be pleased to see how his hospital has continued serving the community as he envisioned. She hopes others will be inspired to do as she has.

    Unique funding opportunity supports spiritual healing

    The new Prayer and Reflection Center will offer a more light-filled, welcoming environment. It will also provide more options for individual and small group use, while remaining flexible enough for Catholic mass and other forms of worship.

    In gratitude for a life saved

    In gratitude, Houston and her husband, Bruce Taher, along with their family, will host their third annual gourmet Thanksgiving meal at the hospital for ICU staff. The meal is catered by Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul, part of their family-owned business.

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    Retired nurse gives back to leave a legacy

    Sharon Mertz, RN, dedicated her entire 38-year career to Allina Health, with 25 years at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and 13 with Allina Health clinics. When she retired, she didn't stop giving back.

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    Golf with a purpose: Posing FORE Pink

    Emily Yund, orchestrated the annual production and sale of a calendar that featured many of their friends and family members, beautifully designed and tastefully photographed. Then they decided to expand their efforts and started the Posing FORE Pink Breast Cancer Golf Tournament. All proceeds are donated to Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation’s Breast Cancer Patient Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Bill-Manning

    Countless acts of kindness help save a life

    Unable to breathe, and with incredible pain in his chest, Bill Manning insisted on being taken to Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Emergency surgery was required to repair the 1-1/2 inch tear and clear the chest cavity. Manning was impressed by the life-saving and compassionate care he received at the hospital. To show his gratitude, he has chosen to make a legacy gift.

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    Retired nurse helps other nurses achieve their career goals

    Anita Thompson wanted to be a nurse from the age of 5. That dream was fulfilled in her early 20s as she graduated from the Northwestern School of Nursing and began a life-long nursing career at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Now retired, she has found a way to help others achieve their career dreams. She has included Abbott Northwestern in her estate planning, making a planned gift that will, upon her death, establish the Anita Thompson Nursing Continuing Education Fund.

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    A champion for breast care reflects on philanthropy

    Can philanthropy make a difference in reshaping health care? Carol Bergen, RN, clinical manager of the Piper Breast Center®, a program of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute®, has seen it happen. "I cannot imagine the Piper Breast Center being as accomplished and successful as it is without its donors. They enable so many things that are otherwise unreachable," Bergen said.

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    A hospital love story

    It all started in 1958. Maxine Anderson was a nursing student and Guillermo Dacumos was a medical intern at what was then Northwestern Hospital. They met on a blind date, and the relationship quickly blossomed. Marriage, three children and more than 50 years later, they give annually to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation.  

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