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Meet a couple of donors

Jan 01, 2012

The couple decided they wanted to do more, so in 2009 they established the Sewell Family Scholarship through the Salem Hospital Foundation.

As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Now whether Dan and Karen Sewell were raised and met due to that philosophy, or they developed it later in life, you get the sense that social fairness guides their moral compass.As a pediatrician in Salem for decades, Dan noticed the quality of care continuing to rise, but also saw that lack of money could be a hindrance. For example, the couple witnessed how some of their sons’ classmates might never achieve their academic potential simply because college was too expensive.So they decided to do something to help. For many years, Karen has sponsored academic scholarships at her high school in Vassar, Michigan. But the couple decided they wanted to do more, so in 2009 they established the Sewell Family Scholarship through the Salem Hospital Foundation. This scholarship awards education grants to high-achieving students pursuing nursing or medical degrees.“Money shouldn’t be a barrier for kids who have the abilities and determination and want to advance their education,” said Karen.“Salem’s been good to us,” said Dan, when asked about the couple’s motive for giving to the Salem Hospital Foundation. “The hospital helped my practice grow, constructing a medical building that our Salem Pediatric Clinic moved into.” Also, when Dan was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was sizing up his options, he found the hospital’s Community Health Education Center to be a valuable resource. He credits his current quality of life to a trusted urologist and radiation oncologist associated with Salem Hospital.As the tide has risen for the Sewells, they discovered other ways to give back. Dan plays the Euphonium in a concert band, and continues to be a member of the Ethics and IRB (Institutional Review Board) committees at Salem Hospital. Karen has volunteered locally at the Assistance League and Family Building Blocks.“The young people are our future,” said Dan. “Whether as doctors, nurses or other health care practitioners, we want to help the next generation reach their goal. The Salem Hospital Foundation, as a great manager of donated funds, is a perfect place to make the most of our contribution.”For questions, email the Salem Hospital Foundation Office or call 503-561-5576.

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