Connecting donors' passions with the needs of Siouxland
A Sioux City, Iowa native, Susan Unger knows firsthand the impact St. Luke's has on Siouxland. Susan's own father received cardiac care at St. Luke's, she celebrated the birth of her daughter in the hospital's birth center, and sadly, Susan's mother passed away at St. Luke's.
"I know what it's like to be both a patient and loved one of someone at St. Luke's, and the deeply important emotional connection patients, families and St. Luke's staff share during a patient's time at St. Luke's," she says.
Susan realized her own love for philanthropy the very first time she had the privilege of connecting a donor's passion with the organization's need. Throughout her long career in philanthropy and work with St. Luke's, which began nearly 25 years ago, Susan continues to be inspired by donors' dreams to make the local community a better place for future generations.
"Our supporters want to be a part of transforming healthcare at St. Luke's, and donors know I am committed to discovering ways of helping achieve their dreams. I am truly one of the luckiest people, because I have the privilege of working and knowing those who share this vision and seeing the sense of joy and accomplishment they feel when their own passions are ignited."
Building relationships- among students, alumni and the healthcare community
Writing has always been easy for Pat Somsky, even at a young age. Still, this Siouxland native never dreamt of the impact her words would someday have on Siouxland health care.
“In the early days of my career, grant writing wasn’t something I had ever considered,” recalls Pat. “I worked at a local non-profit agency, and grants became essential to our organization’s livelihood. They were vital to helping us fulfill our organization’s mission. Very quickly, I realized the importance of grant writing.”
After more than 30 years of experience in grant writing, Pat’s writing skills and her passion for making a difference have led to much needed funding for a number of area organizations. A successful grant application, resulting in multi-million dollar funding for the local school district, solidified Pat’s passion for grant writing.
“A persuasive grant application can be a key component in securing and implementing quality programs and services. There are many grants available that can help an organization extend their reach,” adds Pat. “I look forward to helping St. Luke’s Health Foundation make a positive impact on the community. Our team is committed to helping St. Luke’s touch lives beyond the hospital’s doors. Together, we will improve the lives of the people of Siouxland.”
Inspired by families, motivated to make a difference
Like so many others touched by their stories, Nicole Myers knows there’s something extraordinary about
St. Luke’s miracle families. When she came upon the opportunity to work with these families through
St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network, Nicole knew it was the right career path for her.
“The families we work with have this tremendous power to touch your life in so many ways. Children’s Miracle Network allows me to personally see how our donors’ generosity impacts Siouxland children and families at times when they need support the most,” says Nicole.
Nicole credits her desire to make a difference in the non-profit world to her catholic upbringing. Graduating from a catholic school system and then later attending Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, taught Nicole the importance of paying it forward. As president of Loras’ Dance Marathon, she worked alongside other students all committed to helping better the lives of those in need through Children’s Miracle Network. That commitment led to not only successful Dance Marathons benefiting local families, but more importantly, a chance to witness the power of her volunteer work firsthand. Long-term, Nicole hopes to bring the success of that Dance Marathon event to Sioux City.
“Helping people is what truly drives me to work with Children’s Miracle Network. The beauty of this organization is that everything stays local, helping families right down the street. The feeling of appreciation that I receive from the families we’re able to assist makes donors’ gifts and our fundraising efforts so worthwhile.”
Keeping it in the family
For Tracy Kunkel, working at St. Luke’s is a family tradition. “My mom worked at St. Luke’s, my aunt worked at St. Luke’s, my grandma was a volunteer here, and my sister was a candy striper here,” says Tracy. “St. Luke’s is my hospital, because for me is represents family and loyalty.”
Tracy began her career at St. Luke’s, initially working in the St. Luke’s Day Care, followed by a seven year stint working as a Unit Secretary for the Women’s and Children’s departments. Now, as Tracy looks ahead at her career in the St. Luke’s Health Foundation, she looks forward to continued ties to her St. Luke’s coworkers, but also forging new relationships with community members who support St. Luke’s Health Foundation.
“I love interacting with people,” says Tracy. “Having worked at St. Luke’s for many years, I value the families that we care for each day. I am proud to work in the foundation, where we can do so much to give back to the community and the families I have come to know over the years. Simply put, it is a people thing for me.”
Helping people with a servant's heart
It’s the joy of working closely with others that makes Beth Posson’s job so rewarding. Beth looks forward to coming to work each day to contribute to the meaningful efforts of St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network and St. Luke’s Health Foundation. “I appreciate being able to do something I care about,” says Beth. “It’s an honor to be the face that makes someone else’s day better.”
Beth has strong roots in the community and our hospital, being a native of Sioux City and having had her son at St. Luke’s. Therefore, working for an organization so was deeply rooted in the community makes sense for Beth- that’s why she is proud to work at St. Luke’s Health Foundation.
“Having been a patient myself, I know the importance of personalized patient care. It meant a lot to me when the staff at St. Luke’s made me feel like I wasn’t just a patient or just a number. They made me feel like they really cared about me,” says Beth. “Now that I work here, I encounter that same compassion and personal interaction with people I am proud to work side-by-side with daily to serve others.”
With a pay it forward outlook, Beth works closely with her team to raise money that funds important health care needs in Siouxland. Money raised locally stays local. So Beth is in a unique position to see the direct impact donations to St. Luke’s Health Foundation and St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network have on the people we care for in our community.
“I’ve been told I have a ‘servant’s heart’ and that is very true, I like to help people,” says Beth. “So for me, this is more than a job. It is fulfilling to be a part of something that helps so many people at St. Luke’s and in our community.”
Leah Johnson - Chairperson
Chris Benson - Vice Chairperson
Nathan Kalaher - Secretary
Elise Kreisberg - Treasurer