Why I Give to Franciscan: Frank Shaughnessy, Auburn

On July 3, 2007, 80-year-old Frank Shaughnessy had his second open-heart surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. “This type of thing is part of life and just doesn’t bother me too much,” explained Frank. “In fact, the whole experience at St. Joseph was a very harmonious exercise.”

Part of what made his surgery and hospital stay so favorable was the great care Frank received from the nurses in St. Joseph’s critical care unit, where he spent four full days in recovery. “They were all great caregivers although one in particular stood out above the rest,” explains Frank. “She was efficient, pleasant and kind—a very happy person who obviously really wanted to be there for me. She did her job well and you could just see by her actions how dedicated she was.”

Over the course of his recovery, Frank got to know the nurse who had made such a good impression. In conversations, she shared her aspirations of going back to school so she could move up to the next level of nursing care and have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology.

“What impressed me most was that she wasn’t motivated by the idea of making more money,” Frank recalls. “She was motivated by the fact that going back to school would allow her to help more people.”

Following his discharge, Frank was a grateful patient looking for a way to give back. He contacted the Franciscan Foundation to ask what he could do and subsequently made a generous gift to the Franciscan Foundation Endowment Scholarship Fund, a permanent endowment fund benefiting CHI Franciscan Health employee education and development.

“It feels good to know that my gift is helping dedicated nurses, like the one who took such good care of me, achieve their dreams.”

Since 1996, the Franciscan Foundation has awarded 206 scholarships totaling $317,350 to CHI Franciscan Health employees and volunteers. Thanks to its generous donors, the Foundation awarded 37 scholarships totaling $48,850 this year alone.