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Employee Donor Honors His Mother

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Pictured below: Elizabeth "Gene" Falk, RN, holds the last patient she cared for before her retirement at age 80. Her son, Stephen, supports the Aim High Nursing Excellence Program in her memory.

Many people give to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in honor of one special caregiver who has touched their life. Stephen Falk, a Northwestern Memorial employee since 2001, supports the Aim High Nursing Excellence program in memory of his mother, Elizabeth “Gene” Falk, a registered nurse who retired at the age of 80. Aim High was created to provide financial assistance for experienced nurses with associate degrees and diplomas who wish to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

Falk remembers his mother’s pride in her chosen profession and her dedication to learning. “She was in nursing school when I was a small boy. As a single mother, she had to get creative in order to find the time and space to do her school work. I remember occasionally watching her through our front window while she studied in our car as it was parked in the driveway. She and I could keep an eye on each other, but she could still have a little time to do her homework.” 

Throughout Falk’s life, his mother’s profession instilled in him not only an interest in healthcare, but also a deep understanding of the importance of  the role of nurses in providing the best possible patient care. “Nurses have a tremendous impact on patient care because they are with patients all day, every day,” he says, “and studies have demonstrated the importance of nurses receiving as much education as possible. For example, hospitals with larger numbers of baccalaureate-prepared nurses have been shown to have lower congestive heart failure mortality rates as well as other improved patient outcomes. Contributing to the Aim High Nursing Excellence program is a way for me to honor my mother while enhancing the direct patient care experience.” 

Click here to donate to the Northwestern Memorial Foundation. For more information about this program or other philanthropic needs in nursing, please contact Leslie Post-Weissinger (312.926.0450), philanthropy director at Northwestern Memorial Foundation.