Many lives have been saved and families forever changed thanks in part to the generous support of our donors.
“A dedicated and compassionate caregiver at St. Joseph Hospital for decades, Melvin Schwartz and his wife demonstrated their friendship and support for the Hospital by establishing a legacy through a generous charitable planned gift.”
A close-knit family of retired nurses leaves a bequest and a legacy at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center
The Leahy sisters, Sharon Leahy, Peggy Starr and Mickey Payne, share an unbreakable bond of family love and devotion.
“We help each other out,” says Peggy. “We were raised to take care of family and friends. I’m so glad we live close enough that when something goes wrong, we are right there for each other.”
Called to a caring profession
Their mother was a retired nurse, and both parents valued education and encouraged their daughters to pursue degrees. Equal parts caregivers and leaders, the sisters each enjoyed distinguished nursing careers.
Sharon spent most of her career in the Health Department where she held a variety of positions including staff, supervisor and management. She was the nursing administrator for the Department of Children and Family Services.
Peggy, who says she always knew she wanted to be a nurse like their mother, began her career on the medical floor at UCLA. After two years, she joined LA County as a public health nurse out of the Van Nuys Health Center. She was selected for an advancement opportunity and became a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Like Peggy, Mickey worked on the medical ward at UCLA. From there, she became a public health nurse in Pacoima and acted as a program liaison. She served in the data collection and analysis unit before becoming the assistant program specialist and then the nurse manager for the sexually transmitted disease program.
An affinity for Providence Saint Joseph
For the Leahys, philanthropy was ingrained in the family culture. The sisters remember their parents setting an example of giving back by supporting organizations they cared about. “It was instilled in us,” says Sharon.
After his parents died when he was a child, their father and his brothers spent time in an orphanage run by the Sisters of Providence. “It was the Sisters of Providence who started the hospital,” says Mickey. “I remember one of my uncles going over to visit the order later in life. So, our family has this interesting connection to the hospital.”
When it came to doing their estate planning, the sisters were unanimous in their decision to leave an estate gift to Providence Saint Joseph. “We feel it’s really important to have a good hospital here in this community,” says Mickey. “Not just for us, but so everyone around here can get good quality care, today and tomorrow.”
Their long affiliation with Providence gives them a sense of pride for the hospital they count on for care. “We’ve been involved in the medical profession all of our lives so this is important to us,” says Peggy. “Plus, it’s our hospital. Our mother passed away here, and our uncle, many in our family have been treated here. We have a long history with Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.”
“We’re excited about the updated and expanded emergency room,” says Sharon. “The way it’s going to be set up, the patients have a lot more privacy and, at the same time, the nurses have a line of sight that allows them to see all their patients at once.”
The sisters are proud that Providence Saint Joseph is highly rated. “It’s good to know that it’s ranked very well,” smiles Mickey. “It’s worth giving your support to a hospital that gets good grades!”
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.