Inside Giving Spring 2019
A rooftop garden for Will
In 2006, Melissa Tate, APRN, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, along with the help of Carle’s Child Life Specialists, proposed building a rooftop garden to the Employee Giving Committee – the people behind Carle’s annual I GIVE campaign.
To understand the “why” behind Tate’s proposal, all she needs to say is the name, Will, and you can hear a change in her voice.
At the age of 13, the Tate Family found out their son, Will, had acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
“After Will went into the hospital at Carle, we were sent down to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, so he could be put on a research protocol and to confirm the final diagnosis. Three to four days into all of this, our heads were still spinning,” Tate said. “Will was in eighth grade, so he was worried about school, football games and basketball practice starting soon.”
But thanks to a suggestion from their St. Louis healthcare team, Tate, her husband and Will found themselves eight floors up visiting the rooftop garden.
“As soon as we opened the doors, it’s like everything melted away. All the greenery just hit us. The wind was blowing and the sun was shining. It had a bunch of interactive things for kids, a fountain that rotated on water and much more,” Tate said. “Will sat down in a bubble window that overlooks Forest Park and just curled up. He could be a kid again. He loved that place.”
The garden was a nice escape for the Tates.
Once they returned to Carle, due to Will’s decreased immunity, he couldn’t have plants or pets in his room, and windows couldn’t be open.
“He was asked if there was anything he wanted and his answer, ‘a rooftop garden,’” Tate said.
This year, Will’s wish will come true.
Will’s Garden, a rooftop healing garden, will be created on the sixth floor of the Concourse building. Here, patients and their families as well as all Carle employees can benefit from the space – to relieve stress, clear their heads, heal or just be with one another.
“Several employees remember Melissa’s rooftop garden proposal, and when there was talk of creating one at Carle, she was the first person we called,” said Lesa Brandt, annual giving manager, Carle Center for Philanthropy. “Melissa told me that she and her husband shared happy tears from the news.”
Money raised from the 2019 I GIVE employee giving campaign as well as private and corporate donors will add to the amount needed to transform the space into a whimsical oasis – a total of $1.6 million.
To donate to Carle’s new rooftop healing garden, text WILLSGARDEN to 71777. When the garden opens in November, it will pay tribute to the memory of the boy whose wish will bring the garden to life.
Carle Auxiliary Celebrates 60 Years of Gifts and Giving
Sixty years ago this April, the Carle Auxiliary received its official charter, becoming a vital thread in the tapestry of Carle. Since then, this amazing organization of hard-working volunteers and philanthropists has provided our patients with many wonderful gifts, including the Carle Auxiliary Guest House. And from the beginning, the Carle Auxiliary Gift Shop has been at the heart of it all.
In March of 1959, before they even had their official state charter, the ladies of the Auxiliary were already operating a sundries cart in the hospital. And by December of that same year, the Rose Gate Gift Shop opened in the basement of the old Y-building. Since then, the gift shop has undergone many transformations and memorable events, including the Beanie Baby Craze of the 1990s.
To this day, Retail Manager Donna Sant says it’s impossible to explain just how enthusiastic people were for the small stuffed animals. “People used to line the hallways waiting for the gift shop to open so they could get them before they sold out,” remembers Sant. “We’d sell a thousand a day.”
Today, shopping at the Auxiliary’s establishments, which now include three gifts shops as well as the Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique, is a more serene experience, according to Sant, who says each location is unique. The Fields gift shop serves primarily employees, who really go for the snacks and pop. The Curtis Clinic gift shop offers a popular coffee bar, while the main clinic sells just about everything you can imagine, from balloons and cards to baby gifts.
Last year alone, the Auxilian’s combined retail operations helped fund both the Carle Auxiliary Guest House projects and baby shirts for each newborn at Carle. In addition to funding philanthropic projects, the stores serve as a much-needed escape for those in difficult times.
“This is the happy place at the hospital,” says Sant, who oversees seven employees and a large staff of volunteers. “We don’t have a stethoscope around our neck. We don’t have scrubs on. We are just a nice shiny place that has nice shiny things and people who listen to them and give them a hug if they need it.”
One of the volunteers who helps keep everything running smoothly is Mary Louise Watson. With more than 55 years of service, she’s the longest serving Auxilian. She currently divides her time between the Resale Boutique, where she works one afternoon a week, and the Gift Shop warehouse.
Auxilian Pat Stone, who’s worked at the Gift Shop for four years, understands the appeal. “If you’re a people person, this is a wonderful place to volunteer,” says Stone. During her tenure with the gift shop, she’s coordinated volunteers ranging in age from 25 to 93. And she’s always looking for more. “I think more people would like it if they came and tried it out. We have some really friendly volunteers.”
If you have a heart to serve people, you can pick up everything else, says Sant, including how to work the register. “You’re not going to do anything we can’t fix,” says Sant, with a comforting laugh. “You just need to be there for visitors and patients who need a little extra support.”
To apply to become a Carle Auxiliary member, visit carle.org/volunteering.
Two legends. One legacy.
In March, Carle hosted a Mental Health First Aid instructor training course designed to help rural communities gain better access to mental health support. Those who participated in the three-day course will train others, creating a ripple effect that’s expected to equip more than 720 people in rural communities with the skills to recognize mental health issues and help those in trouble get help. And it was all made possible by the Drs. Joseph C. Barkmeier and Ann E. Tice Rural Health Innovation Outcomes Fund.
If those names sound familiar, there’s a reason. For years, these two happily married individuals were highly respected physicians who dedicated their careers to improving the lives of patients at Carle. This past April, the two retired Carle physicians were honored with the prestigious Legacy Award at the Carle Medical Staff Awards, recognizing a tradition of service and giving that started when they both joined Carle in 1982.
Until his retirement in 2017, Dr. Barkmeier devoted more than three decades to his clinical radiology practice and medical leadership roles at Carle. Just one year after arriving, Dr. Barkmeier performed the first MRI procedure at Carle, and over the years, he rose through the ranks of administration, serving as a member of the Carle Clinic Board of Governors, medical director of Health Alliance Medical Plans and holding various other high-level posts before retiring as Medical Director of System Strategy. He also represented Carle at the national level, serving as the president of the American Society of Clinical Radiologists. In 2011, he was recognized for all these effort with the 2011 Physician Leadership Award.
While Dr. Barkmeier was earning a reputation in radiology, Dr. Tice was making a name for herself in the dermatological field, serving as the division head of dermatology from 1989 to 2002 and becoming the first female president of the Champaign County Medical Society in 1993. Concerned about the effects of long-term sun exposure, Dr. Tice founded and ran free skin cancer clinics for a number of years. She also established the phototherapy unit and developed a tumor check clinic, where patients with pre-cancerous lesions could be treated and have skin cancers surgically removed on the same day with the help of surgeons. During her long career at Carle, she was extremely patient focused, and the love she showed them was well reciprocated, resulting in numerous “Best Doctor” awards.
For nearly 35 years, the two have been more than partners in medicine, they’ve been partners in giving, supporting many projects at Carle that have had a significant impact on patient care. In 2017, they took their philanthropy to the next level, creating the Drs. Joseph C. Barkmeier and Ann E. Tice Rural Health Innovation Outcomes Fund to help meet a number of important care needs for patients in rural locations. It’s this fund that will now help make sure those in rural communities struggling with mental health issues connect with the care they need.
“Legacy can mean a gift of money or leaving something for the benefit of others,” says Dr. Tice. “I love genealogy, which is about learning and honoring ancestors and the gift they left you from their lives. We have donated to Carle and other organizations with this in mind.” Some of their previous gifts include a donation to the Carle’s Expanding Children’s Hearing Opportunities Program, which honored Dr. Tice’s deaf brother and Dr. Barkmeier’s niece, and a gift to the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute in honor of their parents. Their gift to rural health was in recognition of the small towns they grew up in northern Iowa. “In this way, we feel we have left a gift for the benefit of others and in honor of our heritage.”