When Mary Pigott wanted to honor her late husband, Roger Giesecke, she thought about the extraordinary care he and family members received at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center over the years. In appreciation, Pigott has donated $1 million to establish the Roger K. Giesecke Endowment for Hospital Caregivers in Critical and Acute Care. Giesecke, who owned and operated Snappy Print in Bellevue, Wash., died in May 2008.
Here, in an open letter, Pigott expresses her gratitude to the caregivers at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.
I want to thank the staff of UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center for the extraordinary care they have provided my family over the years.
As a liver transplant patient at UW Medical Center beginning with his listing for transplant in 2003, my husband, Roger Giesecke, experienced first-hand the skill and dedication of his caregivers throughout the course of his illness. In 1994 my nephew Brian Helsell suffered a traumatic head injury. He survived the injury as a result of the excellent care he received at Harborview Medical Center. The staff at both medical centers always give so much more than their skill and expertise — they give the most compassionate care I’ve witnessed in health care.
I know that my husband was deeply grateful for the kindness and expertise of all who were involved in his care, especially the nursing and other health-care team members who provided compassionate caring day to day. Roger was a man of great curiosity, intellect and humor. He was also incredibly loyal and passionate about things he believed in. He believed in UW Medicine.
As I was thinking of a way to remember and honor Roger, I thought it would be most fitting to give back to those caregivers who most supported Roger and, earlier, Brian. As a tribute to Roger and a thank you from me, I have donated $1 million to establish the Roger K. Giesecke Endowment for Hospital Caregivers in Critical and Acute Care. The endowment will benefit caregivers at both UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.
It is my intention that the endowment be used to advance the quality of care for critical and acute care patients by providing resources for the education and training of nurses and caregivers, as well as for supporting projects that will benefit nurses and their patients, at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.
As a living legacy to Roger, I hope that this gift benefits UW Medicine staff and their patients for many generations to come.