Kim Spencer

Kim Spencer: Extending Humankindness to Patients in Need

Many employees of St. John’s Hospitals participate in St. John’s Healthcare Foundation’s annual employee giving campaign. These employees generously support a variety of hospital and community benefit programs by making cash gifts, donating hours from their PTO bank or signing up for recurring donations via payroll deduction.

One of our long-time employee giving supporters is Kim Spencer, Senior Director of Imaging, Cardiovascular, and Oncology at St. John’s Hospitals. In this role, she oversees St. John’s award-winning cardiovascular services, diagnostic imaging services, and St. John’s Regional Cancer Center, which provides comprehensive free services to cancer patients and their families.

Raised in a family of nurses, Kim knew at a young age that wanted to pursue a career in health care and became an X-ray technologist. After working at for-profit hospitals for several years, Kim decided to move to a non-for-profit hospital and joined St. John’s Regional Medical Center as Director of Radiology in 2007. She felt immediately connected to St. John’s when she saw the power of humankindness and the spiritual direction provided by Sr. Corita Burnham, Sr. Suzanne Krawczyk, and Sr. Suzanne Soppe – the three Sisters of Mercy who worked at the hospitals at the time. The culture of philanthropy among physicians, nurses, and staff inspired Kim to become an employee donor and join the Humanitarian Gift Society. Society members play a crucial role in St. John’s mission by making unrestricted gifts in support of the hospitals. In addition to supporting St. John’s, Kim has volunteered for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Interface Family Services, and the French Bulldog Rescue Network.

Kim believes that the Emergency Department (ED) is St. John’s most important contribution to the community. “So many people don’t have health insurance and the ED is their safety net.” She recalled the story of a homeless woman with a dog who came to St. John’s for a medical emergency a few years ago on Thanksgiving Day. The woman was nervous about being admitted because she was afraid of losing her pet. The entire ED and Radiology staff on duty showed humankindness to this patient by taking up a collection to ensure that the dog would be cared for during her hospital stay. The woman and her dog were happily reunited on the day she was discharged. 

Kim is grateful for the generous support from donors, which has enabled St. John’s to enhance patient services for radiology, cardiovascular, oncology, and other departments. Donor support helped the hospitals to acquire the SAVI Scout Surgical Guidance System and the MOZART Imaging System, expand the Cancer Center’s nutrition and emotional counseling services, and launch the Integrated Breast Center and Annual Breast Symposium, to name a few. “At community events and fundraisers, it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to come over to me and say ‘I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Thank you for the excellent care your team provided during this difficult time. They helped my husband and me on so many levels and were always there to answer our questions,’” she recalled.

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