Park Nicollet Foundation: Stories of Giving: Barb's Story


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Barb's story of giving

Barb's story of giving

Barb, long-time Methodist Hospital nurse and now tireless volunteer, has made giving a major part of her life. "It's about finding your passion and making a difference," she says. "You won't find a better feeling."

I loved being a nurse," says Barb, now retired after a 20-year career that began at Methodist Hospital. "Methodist has always been 'home' for me."

It's a home she still treasures. Among many volunteer positions Barb has given over a thousand hours of service. She has held positions on the boards of Park Nicollet's Health Services, the Methodist Hospital Service League, and currently is serving the Park Nicollet Foundation Board.

Two causes powerfully motivate her, she says: patient care and the people who provide it. "Nothing is more important than patient care. And I have a special place in my heart for nurses. Over the years I met many who weren't getting opportunities for advanced education." She wants to provide something that will provide opportunities for nurses into the future.

What Barb has done is both innovative and personal. Working through Park Nicollet Foundation, she established the Dr. Roxanna Gapstur Endowment Fund to honor Roxanna as a mentor and to help a new generation of nurses thrive.

"Roxanna is very active at Park Nicollet as chief operating officer, senior vice president and chief nursing officer," Barb says. "I have observed her amazing work as a mentor. This fund recognizes Roxanna's service, while its proceeds will provide nurses with ongoing opportunities."

Endowments make great sense, Barb believes. "They go on forever! This fund, with my gifts and those from others, will help for years to come."

Barb is also enthusiastic about a brand-new patient care concept at Methodist: The Women's Center. "It's a wonderful place," she says. "It offers excellent, diversified and coordinated medical care dedicated solely to the needs of women all in one convenient location. It's truly unique – there's nothing else like it in the Twin Cities."

One room at the Women’s Center has special meaning for her. The Lorraine Degnan Exam room was donated by her, and her husband John in memory of John’s mother. “Lorraine received wonderful care at Methodist. This is a way in which we can say thank you.”

Barb gladly supports Park Nicollet Foundation for key reasons, she says. “Our population is changing. Medicine is changing. Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital has a reputation for cutting age medicine, as well as providing an outstanding patient experience. Through our gifts to the Foundation, we ensure this care will continue.”

Another plus, she says, is “Park Nicollet Foundation is based on Head + Heart, Together. This concept was initiated by our former CEO, David Abelson, MD. His work in this area has guaranteed that time, talent and treasures given to the Foundation will be used effectively. The staff of the Foundation works endlessly to ensure that goal is achieved for all our patients and community. Donations to the Foundation are wonderful investments in our future.”

Barb has reached “a point in my life where I can now give back.” What’s her advice for others in a similar place? “Find your passion and support it,” she says. “Perhaps like me, yours will be a hospital or medical program that means something special to you. Whatever it is, get involved and give. It becomes a great joy and will help others for years to come.”

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Park Nicollet Foundation uses philanthropy to enhance the patient and family experience, promote innovation and research, and respond to the health care needs of our community. For more information about giving to Park Nicollet Foundation or an estate plan review, contact Elizabeth Warner at 952-993-5171.