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Russell Milligan


Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center Receives Funding for Two Youth Programs

Chicago, Ill. –May 2, 2013 – Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC) recently received funding for two onsite community youth programs that help fifth and sixth graders to learn preventive skills and high school students to succeed in college and their careers.

"We are thrilled to receive support for two important programs that are helping youth in our community to succeed," said Gladys Aguirre, RN, BSN, manager, PSMEMC's Health Education Department. "The medical center has a long tradition of working with young adults, and providing guidance and education during important stages in their lives.”

Funding will support these two programs:

CANDO! Program
Now in its sixth year, the medical center's CANDO! Program recently received a $25,000 grant from the Chicago White Sox Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation fund. Medical center staff and educators teach fifth and sixth graders from the community preventive skills – such as good nutrition, social skills, time management, diabetes awareness and more. Students also receive free health screenings. Special activities are offered during the holidays. There are educational classes for parents. Families must apply to participate in the program.

(Photo at right. Receiving the $25,000 grant from the Chicago White Sox Community Fund during a recent special pre-game recognition ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field are (left to right) Dan Liberty, Presence Health Foundation; Melissa Vazquez, RN, BSN, community education nurse; Gladys Aguirre, RN, BSN, manager, Health Education Department, Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center; and David Ruiz, CANDO! Program educator.)

For 2013, the eight-week educational program is provided to students at Mozart Elementary School in Chicago. In addition, this summer, 40 students can enroll in a 3½-week summer session held daily at the medical center. The CANDO! Program is so successful, some students opt to participate up to four years in the summer session.

In addition to the $25,000 grant, the White Sox provided 65 free tickets for a July 25 game for CANDO! Program participants and staff. Aguirre recently was presented with the check during a special pre-game recognition ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago Youth Workforce Hospital/High School Initiative
Michael Reese Health Trust recently awarded the medical center $30,000 in funding over three years to support the Chicago Youth Workforce Hospital/High School Initiative. The trust had previously provided $10,000 in funding for the program this year.

For three consecutive years, PSMEMC has been selected by the Chicago Public School (CPS) Career and Technical Education Department to participate in this program. Targeting juniors and seniors, the program provides a first-hand look at the wide range of job opportunities available in health care. It focuses on helping high school students to succeed in college and their careers. Students have an opportunity to hear speakers on various topics, including setting goals.

This school year, about 40 juniors and seniors from North-Grand High School in Humboldt Park participated in the first session from October 2012 to March 2013. The students volunteered to work 12 to 20 hours a week doing various jobs in the Emergency Department, Radiology, Critical Care, Physical Therapy and Food and Nutritional Services. Some students will return for the summer session beginning in July.

"This $30,000 will help us to provide high school students with advanced training and an onsite experience that exposes them to the health-care industry and various careers,” Aguirre said.

About Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center
Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC) is a premier medical center on Chicago's near northwest side and includes the Saint Mary Campus, 2233 W. Division St., and Saint Elizabeth Campus, 1431 N. Claremont Ave. The Saint Mary Campus is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and accredited as a Chest Pain Center. The hospital specializes in cardiac care, digestive diseases, emergency services, neuroscience services, obstetrics, primary care, behavioral health and wound healing. PSMEMC ranks No. 19 in the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" in the Chicago metro area. Visit our website at

About Provena Health – Resurrection Health Care, Now Joined as Presence Health
PSMEMC is part of Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, created in November 2011 through the merger of Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care. With over 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, Presence Health has 22,000 employees, 4,000 medical professionals and a revenue base of nearly $3 billion. Visit to learn more.


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