EAST CHICAGO, IN – Lake Area United Way (LAUW) presented St. Catherine Hospital with two STAR awards at the annual recognition dinner held Dec. 3 at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The Heart of Service Award was presented to Tracy Sharp for helping to reduce infant mortality and raise healthier babies in Northwest Indiana. The Best Volunteer Effort honor went to Sharp’s coworkers for their shoe drive which helped to put new shoes on the soles of children in East Chicago.
St. Catherine Hospital CEO Leo Correa said he is proud of the hospital and staff for their ongoing commitment to the needs of others in Northwest Indiana.
“They are doing some amazing work,” Correa said. “This year’s STAR recipients are an inspiration to many.”
STAR is an acronym for Serving Together Achieves Results, according to the LAUW.
LAUW president Lisa Doherty said the STAR awards are a way for the community to show appreciation and celebrate the hard, day-to-day work of volunteers and non-profit organizations.
“It amplifies good deeds,” she said. “It’s our way to bring community partners around a common goal.”
Family Birthing Center nurse manager Tracy Sharp, RN, received the Heart of Service Award for the role she played to get a Safe Haven Baby Box placed at St. Catherine Hospital in October 2019.
Sharp coordinated the project. By making the right connections, advocating for installation, procuring a $10,000 donation from St. Catherine Hospital Auxiliary and recruiting contractors, she was able to get the 17th Safe Haven Baby Box in the nation installed in the west wall of the hospital, directly across from Washington Park. The Safe Haven Law allows people to anonymously surrender their healthy newborn without fear of prosecution.
In addition in 2019, Sharp worked with key hospital staff to reinstate free baby/birthing classes and establish a walk-in lactation clinic.
St. Catherine Hospital also was recognized for a hospital-wide shoe collection led by Human Resources. The drive benefited East Chicago schoolchildren. Hospital staff brought in new or lightly worn shoes or made contributions to purchase shoes at local stores.
In May, 260 pairs of shoes were delivered to Washington Elementary School, where a shoe closet is kept to help students and families in need.
To learn more about the community service activities of St. Catherine Hospital and its community outreach programs, visit: COMHS.org