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Ralph and Christy Senner have always been part of the East Jefferson General Hospital family. From the Senner's neurosurgeon to their family practitioner, all of the Senner's medical needs have been met by EJ doctors, nurses and team members with compassion, support and expertise. Due to the care the family received at East Jefferson, Ralph and Christy Senner wanted to show their appreciation to the hospital. After learning that East Jefferson functions as a not-for-profit hospital, that receives no taxpayer support, the Senners wanted to give back to the hospital in a more meaningful way. "I had no idea EJ was not funded by the city or state. All these years my family and I have been coming here, we never knew. It was an awakening to all of us that there was a philanthropic need," said Christy.
This quickly became something much deeper to the Senner family. "It is about taking care of my family, our friends and the rest of community that come to East Jefferson for their care. After all, EJ is a community hospital, and I wanted to give something back to the hospital the same way it gives back to us," Christy said. She and Ralph made a generous donation to the hospital's Foundation, which would directly benefit the EJGH Outpatient Oncology Infusion Center Capital Campaign.
Another important factor in their decision to support the hospital was to help ensure that the very best medical care was available here at home. They understand that if one of their family members, or anyone in the community, was faced with a serious diagnosis, it is vital that they have access to medical experts, top-notch facilities and world-class technology without having to travel out of the area.
As a new board member of the hospital's Foundation, Christy spends a lot of her time at the hospital. While not at EJ, she spends her time educating other people about the hospital, the Foundation and the Capital Campaign. "Joining this board has filled a void in my life. I am very proud of this hospital and honored to be a part of it," Christy said.
Dr. Catherine Fitzmorris, a local ophthalmologist, knows firsthand the importance of delivering outstanding care to patients. When her brother John Troendle, at the age of 40, was diagnosed with cancer, she knew that the best physicians and treatments were needed to save his life.
John's cancer diagnosis came only two weeks after the birth of his first child. That began an intensive nine month treatment plan that included chemotherapy. During that time, he and his family relied on the expertise and compassion at EJGH. Now, almost reaching his five-year cancer-free milestone, he is grateful for the care he received.
After seeing her brother's care, Dr. Fitzmorris decided to support The Foundation's capital campaign to build a new Outpatient Oncology Infusion Center through a significant donation. She decided that it would have the most meaning by naming a part of the new infusion center after her brother. When the infusion center opens its doors, it will feature the John Brady Troendle Infusion Center Lounge.
"Being on the other side of medicine with my brother's struggle through chemotherapy helped me to understand gratitude and the thrill of a successful treatment process," said Dr. Fitzmorris. "I made a donation to The Foundation to hopefully make a small difference in the lives of patients and families going through this struggle. A new Infusion Center coupled with the excellent hospital staff will hopefully be a place where the art and science of medicine merge for cancer cures."
The Foundation gratefully acknowledges Susan G. Komen for the Cure New Orleans for awarding a $5,000 grant to support patient education at East Jefferson General Hospital and throughout the community.
The grant will allow Cancer Care Navigator Debbie Schmitz, RN, to purchase breast self-exam models as well as more general educational materials related to cancer patient and family wellness and care. The models are portable and will be used for all community health education programs that EJGH participates in - including the Jefferson Parish Senior Expo and breast health presentations at local schools, companies, organizations and clubs.
The Foundation at East Jefferson General Hospital is pleased to announce its Annual Golf Classic, presented by EJ After Hours Urgent Care, to be held at Metairie Country Club on Monday, May 13, 2013. This year marks several firsts for the Annual Classic: it is the first time there has been a presenting sponsor; it is the first time it is being held at Metairie Country Club; and it is the first charity tournament hosted by Metairie Country Club.
"This year's tournament is a major step forward in the evolution of the Annual Golf Classic," says Marc Eagan, Annual Golf Classic Chair. "It has become, without a doubt, one of the premier events in our region. Our goal is to make this a world-class event, so that in the end, we can further the efforts of our world-class, community hospital."
In 1970, Tom O'Brien and his wife Hope Riley O'Brien lived nearby and watched East Jefferson General Hospital built from the ground up. That started a life-long relationship with his community hospital.
Hope passed away of renal failure on March 1, 2010, after what Tom says was "60 of the most wonderful years" of his life. It was his gratefulness for the compassionate care given to him and his wife by Dr. Chuck Cucchiara, his belief in the mission of The Foundation, and his commitment to his community hospital that inspired him to make a generous donation to The Foundation in memory of Hope. The gift is designated for the building of the new Infusion Center.