The following article appears in the spring 2019 issue of The Heart of Regina Health Center newsletter.
Dr. Elizabeth Macintyre and her husband Dr. Joseph A. Sopko are no strangers to the ministries of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (CSA). Dr. Macintyre provided care as a gastroenterologist for St. Vincent Charity Medical Center from 1979 until her retirement in 2015. Although Dr. Sopko retired from clinical practice, he still serves as chief medical officer at St. Vincent Charity. They both love working for the sisters and the Sisters of Charity Health System, which is the parent corporation for the sponsored ministries of CSA and includes St. Vincent Charity, Regina Health Center, Mercy Medical Center in Canton, and various other outreach ministries in Ohio and South Carolina.
The years practicing at St. Vincent Charity were very formative for Dr. Macintyre both professionally and personally. Caregivers, from colleagues to nurses and health professionals to housekeepers, were consistently kind, thoughtful and respectful. It was at St. Vincent Charity in the persons of CSA sisters Sister Mercia Beever and Sister Carole DeCrane that she became aware of the power of pastoral care. Patients that the sisters visited were supported emotionally and spiritually, a support that enabled them to endure difficult, frightening issues.
“Watching the two of them, taught me the power of faith in action, and started me on my road to conversion to Catholicism,” said Dr. Macintyre.
To commemorate Sr. Mercia and Sr. Carole, and all of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, Drs. Macintyre and Sopko decided to make a transformational gift to Regina Health Center (RHC). They chose RHC because they believe in the mission of compassion and care for elderly vowed religious, clergy and lay family members.
Dr. Macintyre tells the story of her husband’s father, Joe, who was a resident at RHC several years ago. Joe, critically ill, was admitted to St. Vincent Charity. While he was there, and Dr. Macintyre was on duty at the hospital, she received a page that she had an important phone call. She took the call. That call was from the Polish housekeepers at RHC who wanted to know how Joe was doing and to ask when he could come home. Joe was also Polish, and the housekeepers looked forward to visiting with him and having conversations with him in their language. Dr. Macintyre said, “The care at Regina Health Center is so special. They actually called to ask when he could come home! This is where I want to come when I need care.”
Drs. Macintyre and Sopko decided to make the first of several six-figure gifts that would kick off Regina Health Center’s 25th Anniversary Renovation Project. With their gift and five others, a $1 million matching gift initiative was created to inspire others to also take part in the renovation. Gifts made for the renovation continue to be matched dollar for dollar for recognition purposes.
“This initiative has played a huge part in helping to get toward our goal of $2.5 million, the total cost for the renovation,” said Maureen O’NeillLaszlo, director of mission support and donor relations. “We are so grateful and in awe of the outpouring of support for this project.”
The doctors are taking advantage of the new naming opportunities at RHC. They wish to dedicate a plaque outside the chapel on the third floor assisted living area so that Sr. Mercia and Sr. Carole will always be remembered for the tireless, compassionate care they provided for many sick and dying patients and their families.
In addition to the doctors’ gift for the renovation, Dr. Macintyre made a significant will provision to benefit RHC. Her legacy gift is one of the strongest messages a donor can send. It shows how important this ministry is to her and her family. RHC will continue to receive loving support long after her lifetime. With her legacy gift, she is welcomed into the Regina Society, which recognizes individuals who establish legacy gifts. Gifts received from will bequests and other forms of legacy gifts can be designated for the general operating fund or the Regina Health Center endowment to provide for future sustainability, or for other purposes to support the ministry.
“My gift is not only in recognition of the extraordinary Sisters Mercia and Carole, but in appreciation for all the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, who throughout my practice at St. Vincent enriched my practice and my life," said Dr. Macintyre.
Regina Health Center and the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine recognize Dr. Macintyre and Dr. Sopko for their extraordinary years of support as physicians, leaders and tremendous supporters of the ministries of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. Like Sisters Mercia and Carole, they are a dynamic duo
Regina Health Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.