Patient Education Assistant
Years at Marshfield Clinic: 37
You could say Denise Kann has a can-do attitude. She's helped oversee the Hope Fund, dedicated to Marshfield Clinic employees facing financial difficulties because of illness, emergencies or other unexpected hardship.
Kann (pronounced like can) serves on a committee with Pat Beining and Barb Adler which maintains the Hope (Help Our Priceless Employees) Fund. They used to divide their efforts between a book sale, rummage sale and anything else they could think of to raise money. Since 2000, they have focused on the Basket Raffle, a unique fundraiser involving themed baskets put together by Clinic employees and their departments.
The most recent basket raffle raised more than $13,000, the highest amount ever taken in by the Hope Fund. The raffled baskets contain anything from gift certificates to valuable items like electronic readers, Packer tickets and a Trek bike.
Last year, 37 baskets were displayed during the employee craft sale at Marshfield Center; many of the clinic's regional centers participated also by donating a basket.
All the money raised goes into the Hope Fund, started in 1998 to provide assistance to fellow employees going through tough times. The Fund limits its support to $300 per year; employees needing more than that are encouraged to seek assistance from other resources available to patients as well as employees.
"This year we had a lady who purchased $30 in raffle tickets who remembered the support she got when she was a recipient of money from the Hope Fund," Kann said.
"I'm just in awe of the generosity of employees. As one woman put it, whose husband had a severe illness, 'you can never underestimate the value' of knowing your fellow employees care."
Any employee who knows of a co-worker facing hardship can contact Kann, Beining or Adler via routing or internal phone extension. All nominations are kept confidential.
"It's a very rewarding thing to do," Kann said. "It's nice to know you can make a difference in somebody's life.