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Employees Make a Difference



Employees are important to the Sanford Health Foundation Bismarck the fundraising arm for the health system in this region. Not only do they make a difference at Sanford Health through the work they do, they have the opportunity to make a difference as donors, too.

There are more than 100 funds employee donors can support, including the Employee Crisis Fund. This special fund provides financial aid to employees who have unforeseen circumstances that significantly affect their ability to meet their basic needs of food, housing, clothing and transportation.

Employee donors in Bismarck have already impacted the life of Mellissa Nordsven, Human Resources Payroll Coordinator. In February 2013, her daughter Jillian was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a rare cancer- stage 2 in her left eye and stage 5 with retinal detachment in her right eye.

“I brought her in for a 2-month check-up at Sanford and asked about what appeared to be a lazy or crossed eye,” Mellissa said.

A specialist confirmed the diagnosis and directed the family to a cancer center in New York City to begin intra-arterial chemotherapy. This procedure uses a thin catheter from the groin, through the aorta and neck, bringing chemo directly to the optic vessels. The purpose is to deliver a stronger dose of chemotherapy to only the tumor site, without sacrificing the body to additional side effects.

Working in the Human Resources Department, Mellissa said she was aware of the Employee Crisis Fund. She and her husband, Ben, applied right away for assistance covering the up-front cost of Jillian’s first treatment.

“We were already struggling with figuring out how we would cope financially with so many trips to New York,” she said. The family received funding to use toward the down payment, which helped ease the unexpected financial burden.

“In addition to the monetary relief, receiving funds from the Employee Crisis Fund also gave me a sense of comfort from my employer and fellow employees,” she said. “I never thought I would find myself in a situation where I’d request help, but when you are, every bit counts.”

To learn more about the Employee Crisis Fund or make a gift, visit foundation.sanfordhealth.org or call the Sanford Health Foundation at (701) 323-8450.

Posted Date: February 2014

Employees Make a Difference

Employees are important to the Sanford Health Foundation Bismarck. Not only do they make a difference at Sanford Health through the work they do, they have the opportunity to make a difference as donors, too. Employees helped fellow colleague Mellissa Nordsven when she needed extra help.