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Healthcare Workers Dig Deep for Holiday Food & Fund Drive

Written by Chris Ryan

Sometimes it’s the tried and true that really comes through for a cause. This holiday season, Dignity Health Dominican Hospital and Dignity Health Medical Group-Dominican blew past the 150,000 meals they raised in last year’s Holiday Food & Fund Drive to raise well over 200,000 meals for the community they serve.

The co-ordinator of the drive, Monica Hamilton, Senior Director of Quality, Risk Management & Medical Staff Services, relied on some tried and true methods for raising food and funds, but not on just one. With the help of Dr. Nan Mickiewicz (President & CEO) and Rebecca Alaga, Executive Coordinator of Risk Management, she mobilized myriad strategies in a multi-pronged campaign to convert the generosity already there in Dominican’s staff into real, healthy food to strengthen the nutritional safety net in Santa Cruz County.

“Healthcare workers see first-hand the challenges and burdens that come with inadequate food and nutrition.”

Hamilton reached out to all the hospital departments through modern media like emails and e-newsletters and old-school ones like paper flyers on bulletin boards; she placed barrels in strategic spots for canned goods and also encouraged donations of funds, which fill those barrels back at Second Harvest even faster; and she upped the ante with competitions between the departments.

Those competitions were fun and brought staff together over pizzas and sandwiches to celebrate their success, but Alaga didn’t think they needed the incentive. Most people are generous and caring at heart and are happy to give when they see an effective organization tackling an important need. And healthcare workers see first-hand the challenges and burdens that come with inadequate food and nutrition.

Which may have been what prompted an extremely generous gesture from the physicians at Dominican. Every year, they attend a physicians’ recognition event, but this year decided to forgo it and donate what would have been spent on the event–on food, drinks, gifts, etc.–to Second Harvest’s Holiday Food & Fund Drive.

That graceful gesture resulted in another $15,000, or 60,000 meals.

In all, hospital and medical group staff and physicians raised 209,582 meals, truly living one of their core missions–“Partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life.”

Second Harvest Food Bank is fortunate to have a strong ally in Dominican and all their caring staff in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.


Dignity Health–Dominican Hospital & Dignity Health Medical Group–Dominican are presenting sponsors of Second Harvest’s Holiday Food & Fund Drive.

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