By Katharine A. Yao, MD
It’s been a few years since NorthShore University Health System celebrated the physician philanthropy of The Dr. Merritt C. Bragdon Society, the leadership giving society for physician donors. After canceling the annual event in 2020 due to COVID-19 and again in 2021 because of the surge, the third time was the charm for the Bragdon Society event, which took place on Sept. 6, 2022, and welcomed more than 60 society members and their guests at the Chevy Chase Country Club.
There was much to celebrate and recognize!
Over the past year, our NorthShore physicians have stepped up with an outpouring of philanthropic support toward various initiatives, particularly those that directly fund NorthShore team members’ health and wellbeing.
The Employee Wellbeing Initiative Fund, launched early in 2021 by our Physician Philanthropy Executive Committee (PPEC), has financed a multitude of department- and hospital-specific projects that were led by team members. These include virtual and in-person team activities like cooking and art classes, scavenger hunts, and supplies for a new relaxation room where team members can retreat to decompress.
You can see the gratitude for this support in this video, which shares how the Wellbeing Fund has helped NorthShore teams reconnect and reenergize over the past two years.
Employee wellbeing was particularly critical after the Highland Park July 4th mass shooting. Team members were immediately able to process their sense of shock thanks to the Critical Response Team, decompression sessions and hospital chaplains.
Another area of physician philanthropic support that has been critical to help our team members in need during dire financial situations is the Employee Assistance Fund. More than 150 team members have received financial help when they faced unexpected financial strain during difficult personal situations caused by things such as floods, serious illnesses, deaths in their families and domestic violence.
As NorthShore physicians, we have worked tirelessly over the last two-plus years treating patients with COVID-19, dealing with staffing shortages and courageously coming together to help those wounded in the Highland Park July 4th mass shooting.
Through it all, our dedication on the front lines of patient care has inspired and motivated one another to rise to the challenges we’ve faced.
Regardless of what lies ahead, I am confident that NorthShore physicians will continue to support one another, their extended care team members and all who walk through our doors seeking medical assistance.
I look forward to another celebration—in person—for The Dr. Merritt C. Bragdon Society where we can pause to reflect on the impact of our collective philanthropy and further our shared mission to help everyone in our communities be their best.
Masthead Photo left to right: Physician Philanthropy Engagement Committee members: Dr. John Revis, Dr. Susan Rubin, Dr. Peter Hulick, Dr. Katharine Yao, Dr. Steven Le Vine
Photo credit: Lisa Miller Photography