How Your Gift Helps

Pathway to Parenthood

Pathway to Parenthood imageParenting. It's one of the greatest challenges of life. And while folks often says there's no playbook, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Birth Center has a new program to assist expectant parents in managing this new role.

CG Schmidt has partnered with us once again - this time to financially support the new Pathway to Parenthood program.

"We have offered evening education classes for years, but not every parent-to-be takes advantage of this opportunity," said Lauri Diske, MSN, MBA, RN, director of Women's Services. "Without preparation or a class in advance, it can be hard to absorb the information shared by nurses during the short time she's at the hospital after childbirth.  In addition, some new parents aren't always ready to take their baby home because they don't have a car seat or they haven't selected a pediatrician.

Determined to help, Diske and her team devised the program to make it easier for expectant mothers to acquire the knowledge they need to care for themselves and their babies. Taught by registered nurses, the program includes instruction in self-care, nutrition, breast-feeding, safe sleeping practices and coping with stress, among other topics. There is a dedicated education room in the Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinic, complete with everything from a crib and car seat to a pack 'n play and plenty of dolls for demonstrations.Through the donations to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation, by CG Schmidt and others, the program is free to participants.

"Now, when a woman comes in for a prenatal visit, she can go to a class," Diske said. "These classes aren't lectures where you just sit and listen, they're participatory.  And fathers or support people are welcome to join.

"The lead gift from CG Schmidt inspired others to give, including Faye McBeath Foundation, Jane B. Pettit Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Gertrude M. Speer Fund, and Froedtert staff.

And that's not all they've done.

CG Schmidt has their stamp all over this campus. They have been involved in many construction projects and have invested in Froedtert Hospital Foundation's events, including the Desert Classic and the Salons (community events which bring exposure about Froedtert to area leaders). Additionally, Rick Schmidt and Dan Davis from CG Schmidt have been affiliated with our Foundation's President's Advisory Council. "If Pathway to Parenthood saves just one baby from harm, or one parent from tragedy, it will have been successful."

Donors Help Create Kid-friendly Waiting Room

Emily DeYoung imageFive-year-old Emily DeYoung beat brain cancer and was the inspiration for new kid-friendly waiting room at Froedtert Hospital. 

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin partners with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to provide radiation-oncology treatments for patients that need a specific kind of treatment not available at Children’s Hospital. In Emily’s case, it was Tomotherapy, a type of treatment delivered by a specific, expensive machine. Not many hospitals have this equipment, but Froedtert does and gladly partners with Children’s to bring patients right next door for their treatment. 

When Emily made her daily trips to Froedtert, her mother knew that their journey would end in a plain, green and very adult, waiting room. She wished for something more kid-friendly and shared that hope with Emily’s doctors. Word traveled. Doctors, cancer center staff, and others got on board. They thought it was a great idea too. 

Staff got in touch with the Froedtert Hospital Foundation. The Foundation connected to generous donors and raised nearly $35,000 for the project. Much of the money donated came from the Froedtert staff and physicians who’d started the ball rolling. 

Thanks to them, the room is a colorful, toy-filled space and a happy end to the long trip from Children’s Hospital to Froedtert.

Several media stories highlighted the grand opening of the Pediatric Radiation Oncology Room at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer. Click on the links to read the stories and watch the videos.

Froedtert Hospital Foundation Supports Historic Kidney Transplant Chain

Rafael Serrano and Nick Ludy imageIt was all over the news and donors helped make it possible. You probably heard that Froedtert Hospital was recently part of the world’s second largest kidney transplant chain – 28 donors and 28 recipients. But you may not have heard that the generous donors to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation helped make it happen.

Kidney chains are used when patients who need a kidney transplant do not have a match, but have a friend or family willing to donate. The willing donor is matched with someone in need and their family or friend is matched with the next person, until the chain is complete.

Here at Froedtert, Rafael Serrano, a 55-year-old Racine man received a kidney thanks to his 24-year-old future son-in-law, Nick Ludy. Nick was not a direct match for Rafael, but agreed to donate a kidney on his behalf.

"The decision for me was pretty easy," said Ludy, 24. "You want to be able to help the person get a kidney. The unique thing with this match is that you get to help someone else. I did it to help Rafael, but now someone else's life is changed," he said.   

Transplant surgeon Christopher Johnson said Rafael was one of the sickest people in the chain. Participating in such a widespread chain requires the participants to honor a commitment to help someone they don't even know in order to save a loved one — and that's a really big commitment, Johnson said. "I don't think it's a stretch to say that (Ludy) saved his life," he said.

Philanthropic donors to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation played an important role as well. Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin were among 19 centers involved with this transplant chain through the National Kidney Registry – the organization that arranges these types of chain transplants. Gifts to the Foundation made it possible for our Transplant Department to join the national organization. Membership is expensive since they fund the costs of making these extensive connections between hospitals and patients.

While they may not have donated a kidney themselves, the generosity of our philanthropic donors made a life-saving difference in life of Froedtert patient, Rafael Serrano. 

To read more about Rafael Serrano, Nick Ludy, and this remarkable transplant chain, visit: JSOnline and Froedtert's Media Room.

When Little Things Mean a Lot

When our cardiac surgery patients are admitted, Froedtert nurses give each patient a heart-shaped pillow.  More than just a comfort item, the pillow is used to hold against their chest to help splint the incision when getting up or coughing and for deep breathing.  In a touching gesture of support, the nurses all sign the pillow during the patient’s stay.

The pillows are just one of many “small” items that are funded by patient donations.  Large and small gifts made to Froedtert Hospital Foundation support programs of all sizes in virtually every area of the hospital, including our Heart and Vascular Center

More proof that little things mean a lot … Donations to our Heart and Vascular program fund the purchase of scales for patients who can’t afford them and need them to monitor their medical conditions.  They are a critical tool in the management of weight for our patients, and they too are funded  by donations to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation.

Froedtert RN, Sharron Coffie, speaks eloquently about the impact of a “little thing”  Watch the video.

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Heart and Vascular Center offers a complete range of services, including treatments not readily available elsewhere in Wisconsin.  Our physicians, many of whom are ranked among the Best Doctors® in America, are experts in diagnosing and treating heart and vascular conditions using the latest techniques and technologies.


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