News Releases

Linda O’Dwyer


Saint Francis Hospital Pledges Title Sponsorship for Local Crossfit Fundraiser to Support Prevent Cancer Foundation

EVANSTON, IL (June 21, 2012) – A leader in cancer prevention and care, Saint Francis Hospital (SFH) is the title sponsor of a local Crossfit organization fundraiser June 30, 2012 to benefit Prevent Cancer Foundation. The Foundation has provided more than $125 million to support cancer prevention nationwide.

The fundraiser was initiated and organized by Matthew Pogodzinski, M.D., an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon at SFH, who is a cancer survivor and member of Crossfit. Since his treatment, and subsequent cure for testicular cancer due to early detection, Dr. Pogodzinski has been a staunch advocate for cancer prevention and early detection.

“Paying attention to changes in the body, noticing when something just doesn’t feel right, and taking steps to prevent cancers such as wearing sun block or quitting smoking are some of the best things we can do for ourselves,” said Dr. Pogodzinski. “That, and maintaining a healthy diet.” He also encourages the discussion of early detection of cancers and improving chronic health conditions with friends and family. After finding his cancer and sharing the news, a friend of his also detected testicular cancer within a week.

The fundraiser will involve high intensity core strength and conditioning exercises that focus on nine fundamental areas of fitness. Because Crossfit workouts are so extreme, fundraising participants are limited to members only, but the public is welcome to stop by Crossfit Shoreside at 1508 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 to support and cheer on the efforts of more than 50 participants.

Spectators will be amazed at the intensity and endurance required of these fundraising participants, say organizers. For example, Dr. Pogodzinski has committed to completing 3,000 consecutive burpees—a core building exercise that requires dropping to the floor for a push up, jumping feet to hands then jumping straight up with arms overhead. One member committed to performing 100 squats while lifting 100 lbs. of weight with a one-mile run every time she has to stop. Others will perform various combinations of exercises such as jump roping, weight lifting, pushups and rope climbing. 

“Cancer impacts patients and families in many ways—physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially—and we want to be sure we’re doing everything we can to support prevention efforts,” said Jeff Murphy, executive vice president and chief executive officer. The Cancer Care Program at Saint Francis Hospital is fully accredited by the Commission of Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, which recognizes the hospital's commitment to excellent quality of care for our cancer patients.

Dr. Pogodzinski will be available for interviews at 8 a.m., or in the afternoon following his 3,000 burpees.

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About Saint Francis Hospital

Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois is an award-winning, full-service 375-bed hospital with a Level I Trauma Center. As home to the first Chest Pain Center on Chicago’s North Shore and a Primary Stroke Center certified by the Joint Commission, Saint Francis Hospital has a rich history of providing top quality care and leading edge technologies in collaboration with its 400-physician medical staff. Saint Francis Hospital has been designated a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, placing it in the top six percent of U.S. hospitals. More information is available at

About Provena Health – Resurrection Health Care, Now Joined as Presence Health

Provena Health – Resurrection Health Care, now joined as Presence Health, is a family of Catholic, not-for profit, healthcare services providing advanced medical care and exceptional service with compassion and hope. With locations in Chicago and its collar counties, as well as in East-Central Illinois, it is the largest Catholic health provider in Illinois, encompassing 12 hospitals, 27 long term care and senior residential facilities, numerous outpatient services, clinics, home health services, hospice, private duty, and comprehensive Behavioral Health services. Presence Health is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, the Sisters of the Holy Family, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the Sisters of the Resurrection. Visit to learn more.


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