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Stories: Sandy

A passion for educating physicians

Sandy Norris, MBA, came to Swedish in 1994 with one goal: build a robust and successful Continuing Medical Education (CME) program. She thought she’d be here three or four years before moving on to a new challenge, instead she stayed for 24 years. She discovered that her passion for education could be fueled through both her day-to-day work and her philanthropic contributions to medical education through the annual employee Caregiver Campaign.

“Continuous learning and improvement” is one of the six core values at Swedish that has special meaning for Sandy. It encourages a philosophy that was foundational to her job and kept her feeling fulfilled all these years, and it’s also an ideal that gave purpose to her donations.

“I am pleased that I am able to support physician education both professionally and personally,” says Sandy, a member of both the Summit Club and the Turner Society. “I see the benefit of that education every day in the state-of-the-art care we provide. I am rewarded when I see our residents become leaders in their fields and when past graduates have provided me or my friends high-quality care, demonstrating patient-focused communication skills.”

Recently, Sandy’s philanthropic support helped our Swedish Residents create an educational program and materials for caregivers which is designed to enhance effective use of interpreters in patient care. Working with nurses and interpreters, and benefiting from the investment of supporters like Sandy, they were able to make advances in providing better access to health care for our multiethnic communities.

Although Sandy’s team doesn’t work directly with patients, the work they do impacts care every day. And, through her work and her donations, Sandy has helped ensure “continuous learning and improvement” is an integral part of our culture at Swedish.

Swedish champion, Sandy Norris and husband Tom

“I am motivated by the staff and physicians who are dedicated to excellence,” says Sandy. “I value our educational and quality teams’ work. It allows others to grow and succeed professionally and contributes to making Swedish the best place to receive care. I’m pleased that I have been part of that as both an employee and a donor.”

Now, after nearly a quarter century of service, Sandy has met her goal. The physician education programs have more than doubled in size and she’s looking forward to retirement. Sandy hopes to spend more time boating with her husband, Tom, and their children and grandchildren.

“Swedish will always hold a special place in my heart,” she says. “People in the community are so enthusiastic about supporting Swedish. I’m pleased that I can be counted as one of them.”

Thanks to supporters like Sandy—and you—our patients have access to extraordinary health care and hope for a healthy tomorrow.

To learn more about how your gift makes a difference, contact
Lindsay Capello, Director of Annual Giving, at 206-215-8138 or Lindsay.Capello@swedish.org.