Stephanie’s give-back

young stephanie volunteer with her father, Stephanie’s give-back, volunteer, memories, family, welcome services, compassion

With over 200 volunteer hours under her belt, Stephanie is not ready to slow down. The love and gratitude of Hennepin Healthcare, and memories of her love for her parents, is what drives Stephanie to give back comfort and compassion to everyone she encounters in her work with Welcome Services.

Stephanie has had an interesting life. Her father (pictured above with a young Stephanie) was a surgical resident at the University of Minnesota, but she and her family left when she was seven to move east. Her father started a residency program to become a doctor. At age 21, she moved to New York City alone, working in fashion, public relations, and finally touching on her love of sketch comedy joining the Ensemble Studio Theatre, collaborating on new plays and putting shows together.

Working in a restaurant, which many artists do, she met and married her husband and moved to Miami Beach. Then there was a move to Portland, where they made their home for quite some time.

Stephanie volunteer with mother, Stephanie’s give-back, volunteer, memories, family, welcome services, compassion

A young Stephanie pictured with her mother.

Stephanie’s mom fell ill with pneumonia in 2014, and she came back to the Twin Cities to spend time with her. Her mom was cared for at Hennepin Healthcare. Stephanie was overwhelmed with the level of care. She explains, “From the person who delivers food to the nurses and doctors I couldn’t believe how great and compassionate her care was. They all fought for her. This was all so helpful to us during this time. Although mom passed away, everyone provided so much peace.”

Stephanie’s father, a surgeon, admired HCMC for its patient-focused care, something that was near and dear to his heart. Although his remarkable career encompassed educator and speaker, this third-generation doctor loved the patient care part of practicing medicine, and he and Stephanie saw that at every touchpoint at Hennepin.

In 2018, Stephanie’s father fell ill with a cancer diagnosis and was at Hennepin Healthcare for two weeks. Stephanie left her job in Portland and moved back to St. Paul to care for him. Once again, says Stephanie, “The care was the same. It was the compassionate, heartfelt care we remembered from my mom. The social worker was the backbone of helping us get my father back to his home.

“I spent the next couple of years caring for my father. So many errands, so many doctor’s appointments – and then COVID hit. It was a hard time seeing this brilliant man, who had cared for so many people struggle – it was overwhelming. One bad healthcare experience somewhere else, and we brought him right back to Hennepin Healthcare, this time to the Urology Clinic. They treated him with such respect it was amazing. They listened to him. They made him feel heard, and they gave me comfort.

Stephanie, Stephanie’s give-back, volunteer, memories, family, welcome services, compassion

Stephanie today!

“My father passed away in March 2022. After everything – the funeral, the estate, the paperwork, and the grieving, I felt lost. I wanted to do something, something to make a difference. I applied to be a volunteer at the place I felt so much a connection to, and to my parents”.

All volunteers begin their service with several weeks as part of the Welcome Services team. Stephanie has decided to stay there because she loves it. She speaks very highly of Quincy Stroeing, the Welcome Services Representative who coordinates schedules. She gravitates towards elderly patients and worries for them. How are they going to get home? What are they going home to?

Quincy chimes in, “Stephanie has been volunteering with Welcome Services at the CSC every Wednesday since October 2022.  She is always eager to assist the patients and Welcome Services staff however she can.  Stephanie is very compassionate and is definitely a patient focused individual.  We are very fortunate to have Stephanie volunteering with Welcome Services and appreciate her generously donating over 275 hours to Hennepin Healthcare.”

She has made many friends including one man, an interpreter who is no longer there, who reminded her of her father. “Hennepin Healthcare is a unique and special place that will take you and care for you, I love this place,” says Stephanie. “I like the fact that I can say we’re going to help and mean it.

“At the end of my shift, all I hope is that maybe, just maybe, I brightened someone’s day”.