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$2.5 Million Endowment Supports Program at New AMITA Health Cancer Institute and Outpatient Center

A dual endowment of $1.5 million from Katherine (Kay) Birck and $1 million from the Tellabs Foundation will aid the development of nurse navigators as a critical link between cancer patients and caregivers.


(Hinsdale, IL) Patients treated at the new AMITA Health Cancer Institute & Outpatient Center in Hinsdale are supported by patient navigators—specially trained, oncology-certified nurses who will guide them along the path from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. Thanks to a dual endowment gift of $2.5 million provided by the Birck Family and the Tellabs Foundation, this vital service will be expanded and enhanced.

The donation was made to the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation for an endowment to support cancer nurse navigation at the AMITA Health Cancer Institute & Outpatient Center, a 50,000 square foot facility which opened in February of this year. Mrs. Birck, Hinsdale resident and wife of the late Michael Birck, is a former nurse and a generous supporter of causes that address the educational and health care needs of the community. “The fact that we can do so much for so many people in our community is what matters the most,” she said. “Compassionate care is just as critical as advanced medicine. Cancer patients need the connections provided by nurse navigators – they are the link to information they might have missed, questions they forgot to ask and services they didn’t know existed. Our family is so proud to ensure that navigators will always be there for cancer patients.”

The Tellabs Foundation supports sustainable initiatives, primarily in education, health and the environment. One of the Foundation’s priorities is to improve health through research, education and treatment. “Helping cancer patients navigate what is often a confusing and overwhelming experience is something the Tellabs Foundation is proud to be a part of, “ noted Carol Gavin, executive director of the Tellabs Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with Kay Birck in creating the Birck Family Endowment for Nurse Navigators to support cancer patients and their families."

The generous endowment will be applied toward navigation staff training, credentialing and resources, including the development of a Navigation Certification Program that could serve as a leading resource to train and credential navigators beyond the AMITA Health system. Funding will also support the acquisition of technology to aid navigators with charting, data collection and documentation and will provide patients with education and resource materials to prepare them for the care process and beyond.

“I see the Birck Family Endowment for Nurse Navigation as the most far-reaching act of cancer care philanthropy our hospital has ever known,” said Michael Goebel, chief executive officer AMITA Health Adventist Medical Centers, Hinsdale and La Grange. “This generous endowment is designed to strengthen and secure the work of the oncology nurse navigators who guide our patients and their families throughout a cancer diagnosis and treatment. And it is no surprise that this gift comes to us through Mrs. Birck who, with her late husband Mike, has always been a great champion of our patient-centered mission. Today the Birck family and the Tellabs Foundation are extending their compassion to our cancer patients, present and future, and I am very grateful to have them as our partners in extending the healing ministry of Jesus.”

Recent studies have shown that patients receiving navigation support reported significantly greater quality of care and significantly fewer problems with care. “We see patient navigation as being the embodiment of our commitment to each patient as an individual created in God’s image and deserving of the best possible care for body, mind and spirit,” said Goebel.

Inspired by faith and informed by science, the AMITA Health Cancer Institute & Outpatient Center, Hinsdale delivers a comprehensive approach to cancer care – supporting patients throughout their journey from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.

About AMITA Health

AMITA Health ( is an integrated health system serving communities in western and northwestern suburban Chicago. AMITA Health is a Joint Operating Company formed in February 2015 by Adventist Midwest Health, based in Hinsdale, Ill., and Alexian Brothers Health System, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., encompassing nine hospitals and an extensive physician provider network of more than 3,000 physicians. AMITA Health is committed to delivering the most efficient, highest quality, faith-based care possible and respecting the faith traditions of all people.