Swedish Medical Center Talks about Northwest Hope & Healing

Northwest Hope and Healing — A Community Rallying Around Women With Cancer

Originally published on the Swedish Foundation Website

Cancer is challenging enough on its own. For patients struggling to pay everyday expenses while balancing the cost of their medical care, it can compound an already stressful experience.

“Nobody chooses to get cancer,” says Karyn Blasi Hellar, executive director of Northwest Hope & Healing (NWHH) since 2017. “It’s not fair.” She’s heard from women who have lost their jobs and insurance, gone through divorces and even given birth, all while fighting cancer.

That’s why she’s passionate about providing financial relief and support through NWHH for patients undergoing treatment for their breast and gynecological cancers at the Swedish Cancer Institute.

Founded in 2000, NWHH has raised more than $1.5 million dollars in the past 20 years to support our Patient Assistance Fund which provides grants to patients in need. Not only that, they also donate comforting items like scarves, tea and comfy slippers which NWHH volunteers assemble into Healing Gift Boxes.

For many NWHH volunteers, the work is personal. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in Washington, and survivors and relatives make up the majority of NWHH’s volunteer force. Whether it’s assembling Healing Gift Boxes or helping at events, they’re supporting women through the financial challenges a cancer diagnosis can bring.

For some patients, the list of worries can feel endless, but a patient assistance grant made possible through NWHH can help cross off one thing, like groceries, utility bills, childcare or parking expenses for frequent hospital visits.

And the benefits go beyond the financial. While the average Patient Assistance Fund grant of $500 won’t solve every problem, just knowing that others care can be a comfort to women during their treatment. “It’s the small acts of kindness that make a big difference to these patients,” says Karyn.

Karyn brings 15 years of experience in breast cancer administration to this role, including managing breast imaging at Swedish where she saw first-hand the impact that cancer could have on patients. She also has an MBA, so she’s uniting her passion for women’s health with her business know-how. As NWHH’s only full-time employee, she’s determined to minimize costs wherever she can, including by working out of her home, rather than renting office space. Her goal is to make every donation and volunteer hour count.

“It’s amazing to see how kind and generous people can be,” she says. “I’m inspired by our community every day.” And thanks to the NWHH community, more than 400 women in the last year alone received help.

Cosmo 5k and 7k Fundraiser 2018

Great Route.
Gorgeous Waterfront.
And a Genuinely Good Cause.

Took place on Sunday, September 16, 2018
at the Alki Bathhouse on Alki Beach in Seattle

A hearty THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Northwest Hope & Healing’s annual summer fundraiser!

Because of you, we are able to continue providing immediate financial assistance to local women who are undergoing treatment for breast or gynecologic cancer at Swedish Cancer Institute.

 

Cork Fork Support Wine Tasting Fundraiser on November 16, 2017

Thank you to all who joined us at this event!

With your help, we raised over $35,000 to support Northwest Hope & Healing

 

Cork, Fork, & Support was a grand success—where an awesome gathering of friends, colleagues and neighbors gathered at the historic Melrose Market Studios for a fun night of tasting local wines, cider and spirits and delectable hors d’oeuvres.

Guests bid on awesome auction packages, bought raffle tickets, and raised their paddle—all in support of local women who are undergoing treatment at the Swedish Cancer Institute for breast or gynecologic cancer. 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you again to Health Perspectives Group, Lake Partners Strategy Consultants, and Swedish Cancer Institute for your premier sponsorship of the event—almost 100% funded by your sponsorships. Thank you Wells Fargo for your volunteers, and to all of our other donors, sponsors, and volunteers. Because of your kindness and generosity, more women who are struggling financially will be supported while undergoing cancer treatment.

Thank You to Our Participating Wineries

Elsom CellarsJM CellarsOne Hope WineCopperworks DistillingSidetrack DistilleryNashi Orchards

Thank You to Our Raffle Donors

Aluvé Winery
Art by Marilyn MacAbee
Beautycounter skincare by Alexandria Maruska
Copperworks Distilling Company
Fini
Hotel 1000
Local 360
Massage by Stephanie Scott
Mercer Wine
Nashi Orchards
Sassafrass Seattle
Shoppe Florette
Structure Cellars
The Finerie
The Hawks Score
Washington Ensemble Theatre

As one of Northwest Hope and Healing’s three major annual fundraisers, this event enables us to provide these women with immediate financial assistance—funds that can be applied towards everyday living expenses such as childcare or groceries, reliable transportation and/or emergency rent. Some of these women would be unable to make an electric bill payment or even put food on the table for their children, were it not for our support.

 

Our Sponsors:

Swedish Cancer InstituteHealth Perspectives GroupLake Partners Strategy Consultants

.
.
.
.
.
.

Cosmo 7k (formerly the Alki Beach 5k) Fundraiser a Success!

Cosmo 7k and 5k (formerly Alki Beach 5k) A Success

Thank you to the 1,100+ people who supported Northwest Hope & Healing!

On Sunday August 27, more than 1100 women, men, and children ran a great route, along a gorgeous waterfront, for a genuinely good cause: raising money to provide immediate financial assistance to local women who are undergoing treatment for breast or gynecologic cancer at Swedish Cancer Institute.

This year, the Board of Northwest Hope & Healing decided to transfer ownership of the Alki Beach 5k to a local events organization called Fizz Events.  Not only did this relieve us of the (high) cost of producing the event, it enabled 100% of your donations to go directly to NWHH to support women in cancer treatment – a huge win!

This Year’s Run Included:

  • Both 5k and 7k options
  • Kids Race with Special Kids’ Superhero Cape
  • Women’s Long Sleeve Tech Top for all 7K & 5K participants
  • Logo-ed Cosmo Martini Glass and 2 cosmos at the finish line
  • Finisher Medal
  • Personalized Participant Bib
  • Chip Timers
  • Live music and fun at the finish line

Fizz Events Proceed Distribution:

  • $2 from every registration went to NWHH
  • All proceeds from tribute patches went to NWHH
  • 100% of your donations went to NWHH
  • A portion of all sponsorship dollars went to NWHH

 

New Interim Executive Director Karyn Blasi Hellar

We are excited to announce the selection of Karyn Blasi Hellar as our new interim Executive Director, and invite you to join us in thanking Kristina Dahl for serving in this role for nearly two years.

We are grateful to Kristina for helping Northwest Hope and Healing grow—through more awareness, more donations, and best of all, more women receiving help through our grants and healing baskets. We are sad to see her leave, but wish her all the best in her new endeavor as a high school English teacher.

Karyn (pictured at right) is prepared to lead NWHH with enthusiasm, knowledge of the organization, a first-hand understanding of our patients’ needs, and a commitment to our cause.

She also brings a wealth of experience to her new role: while managing breast imaging for Swedish Hospital, First Hill, she was asked to join NWHH Board, where she filled roles on the executive team as Board Chair and Vice Chair. Prior to her tenure at Swedish, she worked for a decade at both Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she more recently managed the breast cancer program.

“I look forward to continuing to serve and partner with Seattle’s dynamic community in this new capacity,” remarks Karyn. “I am dedicated to supporting and developing NWHH because it provides vital resources to those in need, contributing to this region’s quality of life.”

Please join us in wishing Kristina well in her new endeavors, and also in welcoming Karyn to her new role.

 

Cork Fork and Support – Our Wine Tasting Fundraiser was a Hit!

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, we were thrilled to see a record-breaking number of attendees at our annual wine tasting fundraiser, “Cork, Fork, and Support,” held in the gorgeous underground Melrose Market Studio on Capitol Hill.

Guests enjoyed local wine and spirits, along with passed his d’oeuvres and a table full of delectable small bites as they bid on awesome auction packages and purchased raffle tickets—all in support of local women who are undergoing treatment at the Swedish Cancer Institute for breast or gynecologic cancer.

As one of Northwest Hope and Healing’s three major annual fundraisers, this event enables us to provide these women with immediate financial assistance—funds that can be applied towards everyday living expenses such as childcare or groceries, reliable transportation and/or emergency rent. Some of these women would be unable to make an electric bill payment or even put food on the table for their children, were it not for our support.

Special Thanks to our Auction Donors:

Finerie Seattle, Ben Bridge JewelerProper Picnic, and many others

Warm Thanks to our Wineries:

JM Cellars, Benziger Family Winery, Chloe Wine Collection, Concannon Vineyard, Cupcake Vineyards, and Elsom Cellars.

And More Thanks to our Caterer:

Tuxedos & Tennis Shoes

Northwest Hope and Healing on KING5 New Day Northwest

New Day Northwest for Style16On April 20, 2016, Northwest Hope and Healing’s Executive Director Kristina Dahl made an appearance on KING5’s New Day Northwest.

Kristina Dahl and NW Hope & Healing grant recipient Tracey Hilton made an appearance on New Day Northwest to talk about how NW Hope & Healing helps cancer patients, and the growing need for assistance within our community.

View the segment here: www.king5.com

 

Swedish Community Impact Award

Northwest Hope & Healing was presented with the 2011 Swedish Community Impact Award from Swedish Medical Center.

impact-awardThis award recognizes a corporation or foundation whose ongoing support of Swedish Medical Center has made an important impact on the health of the people and community they serve.

Shown at right: NWHH Founder Christine Smith and former Executive Director Shari Sewell.

 

On September 15th, Northwest Hope & Healing was recognized in an awards ceremony at the Swedish Donor Recognition Event held at the Seattle Tennis Club. Northwest Hope & Healing was presented with the 2011 Swedish Community Impact Award which recognizes a corporation or foundation whose ongoing support of Swedish Medical Center has made an important impact on the health of the people and community they serve.

“This award is the result of the generosity of our donors and supporters. The Community Impact Award is an honor to receive and we look forward to continue to assist women who are battling cancer.” says Executive Director, Shari Sewell.

Since 2000, Northwest Hope & Healing (NWHH) has partnered with Swedish Medical Center to offer support to women who are battling breast cancer in the Puget Sound area. Through their Healing Programs, which include the Patient Assistance Fund and the Healing Basket Program, NWHH has sent a message of love, life, and hope to more than 6,800 women who are fighting breast cancer. After paying for medical care, deductibles, co-pays and prescriptions, many patients face a shortfall for basic needs like food and rent. The NWHH Patient Assistance Fund helps ensure that women don’t have to skip treatment to have food on the table, childcare during treatments, transportation to appointments, or a roof over their heads.

In addition, signature Healing Baskets are filled with items such as a teddy bear, soothing hand lotion and herbal tea. Healing Baskets are given free of charge to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at all Swedish Campuses which include First Hill, Cherry Hill, Edmonds, and Issaquah, as well as the Swedish Cancer Institute affiliate at Highline Hospital in Burien.

Other awards were presented by Swedish to John L. Petersen M.D. and Saul Rivkin M.D., Martin S. Siegel M.D., Anne and Wayne Gittinger.

View the article >