News and Information

December 12, 2011

St. Joseph Medical Center Ball Sets Records for Giving, Attendance

The 36th annual St. Joseph Medical Center Ball set event records for both attendance and the amount of money raised to benefit the Franciscan Health System hospital in Tacoma.

All tickets were sold for the Nov.19 gala, with nearly 700 people in attendance. The fundraiser generated a net $405,000 to support expansion of cardiothoracic services at St. Joseph Medical Center.

The annual charity ball, one of the premier events in the South Puget Sound region, doubled its major underwriting goal and increased overall net revenues by 15 percent from last year’s record-setting event.

"Our hearts are filled by the generosity of all who attended this very special event and supported the Franciscan organization," said Dianna Kielian, senior vice president for mission and interim president of the Franciscan Foundation. "As a non-profit organization, community support is essential to our ability to meet the needs of the communities we serve."

Baiya Krishnadasan, MD, and his wife, Deborah, served as co-chairs of the St. Joseph Ball Committee. Dr. Krishnadasan is medical director for cardiothoracic services at the 343-bed medical center. "They did an incredible job," Ms. Kielian said. "We are thankful for their tireless leadership."

Funds generated by the St. Joseph Ball will help pay for the much-needed expansion of the hospital’s cardiothoracic (heart, lungs and esophagus) medical and surgical services.

"In order to optimize this highly specialized service line and meet the needs of the community, we are increasing the number of intensive care unit beds for cardiothoracic patients from eight to 24," said St. Joseph Medical Center President Syd Bersante. "This expansion requires an enhanced healing environment and state-of-the-art medical technology, including heart and hemodynamic monitors, specialty beds and patient lifts."

St. Joseph Medical Center is the leading provider of cardiovascular and thoracic care in the South Puget Sound. Its team of experts includes the area’s top cardiologists, heart, vascular and thoracic surgeons, nurses and technologists.

St. Joseph has been integral to the quality of life in the region since the Sisters of St. Francis established the hospital in 1891. "The Sisters’ healing ministry, boundless compassion, and legacy of care inspire the work of our medical staff, nurses and other employees to this day," Ms. Kielian said.

During fiscal year 2011 (July 2010 through June 2011), the Franciscan organization provided more than $75 million in community benefit programs (i.e., free educational programs and outreach health services) and charity care (free and reduced-cost care for patients unable to pay for medical care they needed).

The St. Joseph Ball is one of several annual charitable events sponsored by the Franciscan Foundation to support the Franciscan Health System and its mission to create healthier communities. To learn more or make a tax-deductible donation, call the Foundation at 1-888-814-3740 (toll-free) during regular business hours Monday through Friday or go online to

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