Some of Chicago’s top athletes joined physicians, staff, Sisters and more than 1,100 guests to celebrate the first year of Presence Health as one organization at The Presence Ball, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The event raised $1.3 million.
Honorary Chair “Da Coach” Mike Ditka spoke to the crowd about his own Catholic upbringing and the importance of the dedication of Sisters to health care throughout the state. Celebrity athletes, including Dan Hampton, Otis Wilson and Emery Moorehead – all members of the 1985 Chicago Bears, greeted guests. Chicago greats Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, Chicago White Sox Hall-of-Famer, and Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson, of the Chicago Bears, also welcomed Presence Health supporters. Francis Cardinal George offered a blessing over those gathered, and then, in a powerful gesture, the audience, led by Sister Mary Elizabeth Imler, blessed him and prayed for his healing as he fights cancer for a third time.
Presence Health CEO Bruce spoke about the mission of the organization and encouraged the audience to believe in it as well.
“I believe we have a mission that is second to none, a footprint that touches the lives of families across the state, from Danville to the lake front, and a team of 22,000 employees and 4,000 physicians working to keep our communities in their best state of wellness,” Bruce said.
Bruce also spoke of Presence Health’s plan to transform health care through community-based initiatives. “I believe in the potential of community hospitals to lead the charge in how health care is delivered in urban, suburban and rural communities all across the state,” Bruce said. “Presence Health is a community-based system with a broad continuum of care. We are prepared to provide greater, more convenient access that is also coordinated whether you are accessing us in a hospital, an immediate care center or through home care. And this care is available to you no matter what ZIP code you live in.”