St. Elizabeth’s Foundation helps make a difference in lives

Dave Garris
Director of St. Elizabeth’s Foundation

The HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Foundation makes a difference in thousands of lives across the Metro East. 

Director of the St. Elizabeth’s Foundation Dave Garris said that each of the HSHS hospitals have their own local foundation. 

“Whatever money that is donated to the St. Elizabeth’s Foundation stays at St. Elizabeth’s,” Garris said. 

Garris said that the foundation also supports the St. Elizabeth’s health clinic in Belleville and the O’Fallon UrgiCare but that it “stays within the St. Elizabeth’s family.”  

“St. Elizabeth’s is a nonprofit hospital,” he said. Garris said that people have a “hard time” understanding that hospitals can be nonprofit because of the cost of health care. 

In order to fund the hospital’s foundation, Garris said that St. Elizabeth’s relies on the generosity of colleagues, businesses and the community as a whole. 

“We leverage the generosity to fund new technology, equipment, services and programs that enhance the capabilities of St. Elizabeth’s,” he said. “In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for capital and program budgets to keep pace with the rising cost of health care delivery and the ever changing technological landscape.  That’s where we come in.”

Garris said that his role as the foundation director is to “serve as the conduit between the hospital and the community and bringing the two closer together.”

Some of the things the foundation helps fund are programs such as Breast Health Awareness Month and new technology such as the 3D mammography machine for imaging, an Alter-G treadmill for rehab, Arctic Sun Temperature management system for the critical care unit, Xenex disinfection robots for environmental services, 3D echocardiography for heart and vascular and a new SUV and protective equipment for security team members.

“Since I’ve been there since 2014 – we have raised over $8 million for the hospital,” Garris said. 

One of the major foundation events is the Elizabethan Gala that will take place on Friday, Nov. 2. 

Garris said that the Elizabethan Gala has raised over $800,000 for the foundation since its incarnation as a gala in 2012. 

“We get the support of business leaders in the community, civic leaders, physicians and colleagues.”

“We usually have 300 to 400 guests that attend,” he said. 

Garris said that each year, the hospital presents the Elizabethan Award to an individual “that supports the mission of St. Elizabeth’s hospital and supports promoting and expanding health care in the Metro East.”

“This year we have selected Mike Riley a local business man, philanthropist and volunteer who is well known in the community,” Garris said. “He is president and the owner of Professional Therapy Services in Belleville.”

The Elizabethan Gala is an evening of fellowship and fundraising accompanied by dinner, music and celebrations and will take place at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon. For ticket information for the event, call the Foundation office at 618-234-2120, ext. 12446.