We believe OSF Mission Partner share a call to serve in this sacred health care Ministry. We serve God, our patients, our communities, and one another as Mission Partners – in the Spirit of Christ and with the greatest care and love. The call to serve is a privilege manifests itself in the care we provide, the legacy we are building, and in the hours we spend living the OSF Mission away from our jobs.

In 2016, the generosity of two neuroscience specialists at the OSF Illinois Neurological Institute (INI) led to the creation of endowments that give our caregivers resources they need to provide the highest level of compassionate care for others.

Dr. Tony Avellino, his wife, Jennifer, and their family established the Avellino-Proios INI Endowment for Mental, Social, Spiritual and Physical Peace. The endowment seeks to promote a healthy work-life balance and address the critical, nationwide issue of physician burnout. Studies have shown that more than half of physicians across the U.S. experience symptoms of burnout, which can lead to increased risk for medical errors, higher turnover rates, decreased productivity and lower patient satisfaction. The Avellino-Proios Endowment ensures an ongoing source of funding to provide educational information and resources to help physicians better care for themselves, so they may better care for others.

“Depression and suicidal tendencies among physicians is a very real problem, both within the U.S. and worldwide. Though rates of depression among physicians is similar to the general population, physicians’ risk of suicide is higher,” Dr. Avellino said. “According to studies, the U.S. loses more than 400 doctors per year to suicide. That is the equivalent of an entire medical school.

“I have struggled with these issues personally, and feel passionate that as an industry we need to address them and look for ways to help foster a better quality of life and work-life balance for those we rely on so heavily to care for others.”

Dr. Patrick Elwood and his late wife, Gladys, echoed that generosity by creating the INI Medical Student and Resident Research Fund, which provides funding to support the research efforts of our brightest young minds. INI and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria collaborate to provide opportunities for medical students and residents to conduct meaningful scientific and clinical-based research that help shape the way health care is delivered.

Their philanthropic hearts struck a chord within Ed Rapp, a former INI board member, and his wife, Ann, who supported both endowments and compelled a matching gift from Caterpillar, Inc.

OSF HealthCare is blessed to have extraordinary teams of volunteer Mission Partners serving at our medical centers and other facilities. We’re also blessed by Mission Partners who feel called to give their time away from work to making their communities better places. We give back to the communities we serve because we are very much a part of those communities.

Shoe Drive So Successful, It’s Measured in Pounds
The 14th annual OSF Shoe Drive is in the books, and boasts a record total. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center collected 3,524 pounds of shoes for Home Sweet Home Ministries.

This year’s total is 157 pounds larger than last year’s, once again underscoring the generosity of the Bloomington-Normal community.

All wearable shoes will be routed into the Mission Mart Thrift Store at Home Sweet Home Ministries for retail sale, while shoes deemed unwearable will be recycled.

Home Sweet Home Ministries is a full-service homeless shelter open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and serves those in need with daily meals, shelter, and other social services.

“We are very grateful to OSF and to everyone who participated in the 14th annual OSF Shoe Drive.” said Mary Ann Pullin, Home Sweet Home Ministries CEO. “The OSF Shoe Drive brings our community together to make it stronger and healthier. It generates revenue that directly supports the programs and services of Home Sweet Home Ministries.”

Mission Partners Blessed to Help Rockford-Area Foster Children

For 20 years the Mission Partners of OSF HealthCare have made Christmas a little brighter for Rockford-area foster children through the “Adopt-an-Angel” program.

It’s organized by the Winnebago/Boone County Foster Care Alliance, a consortium of seven regional child welfare agencies. “Adopt-an-Angel” allows OSF HealthCare Mission Partners to choose tags with the first name, gender and age of a foster child. The tag also includes a wish list of things the child would like for Christmas.

This year, all of the tags – some 150 – were claimed, and today representatives from Foster Care Alliance collected the colorful gift bags and boxes for Santa to deliver to the children.

“OSF is pleased to partner with Foster Care Alliance to bring holiday joy to children,” said OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center President Paula Carynski. “It’s just one example of our employees’ charitable commitment to our community, to make the region a better place for everyone and fulfill our Mission to “serve with the greatest care and love.’ ”

Patty York, Foster Care Alliance coordinator, says, “We thank OSF and their employees for their generosity this year and the 20 years they have supported Adopt-an-Angel. This spirit of kindness will help our families make this a better Christmas for their foster children.”

Overall, Foster Care Alliance works with 50 area businesses and organizations for the Adopt-an-Angel program, collecting and distributing 21-hundred gifts.

Community Gardens Feed Body and Souls

In the Streator community last year, OSF HealthCare Mission Partners showcased a variety of produce harvested from three area community gardens at a farmers market. In addition to having a garden onsite at OSF Center for Health – Streator, volunteers and Mission Partners work with other members of the community to maintain gardens at St. Michael’s School and Northlawn Jr. High School as well.

In an effort to promote and encourage community wellness, OSF HealthCare food service professionals also offered a number of healthy recipes to accompany the various vegetables on display. Mission Partners have also hosted booths at the farmers’ market in Ottawa to give away bottled water and explain the importance of proper hydration.