“I think the world of Christian Health Care Center (CHCC),” says dedicated supporter Doris Swenson of Ridgewood. “I think the Center has a remarkable staff and a remarkable administration.”
Ten years ago, her husband Richard was a patient on the newly established short-term rehab unit. After his passing, she expressed her gratitude for the care he received through the first of many gifts to the Christian Health Care Center Foundation. Her introduction to the Center, however, actually occurred years earlier.
“I became associated with Christian Health Care Center in a very roundabout way,” Mrs. Swenson explains. “About 25 years ago, the daughter of a very dear friend of mine went to Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat. She asked if I would help her organize a fundraising sports-night dinner. We organized the dinner for 12 years and a lot of sports figures, like Phil Simms of the NY Giants, became involved. A number of Christian Health Care Center board members attended our dinners. I didn’t know much about the Center at that point, but I got to meet a lot of people involved with CHCC.”
Mrs. Swenson’s first-hand introduction to CHCC came after her husband broke his arm and needed rehabilitation.
“I didn’t know much about rehab facilities, so I visited some with a friend of mine who is a doctor’s daughter and very savvy in the medical world,” Mrs. Swenson says. “She went to the Nurses’ Station at CHCC’s short-term rehab unit and asked two employees how long they had worked for CHCC. One said 15 years. The other said 17. My friend turned to me and said, ‘This is where you want to bring your husband. If the employees have been satisfied working here for that long, then it is a good place.”
In addition to employee longevity, Mrs. Swenson was impressed by the environment.
“The whole atmosphere at CHCC was so cheery and so bright,” she says. “And this is the most important thing – the aroma was very pleasant and fresh. It wasn’t like other facilities.”
Following his passing, she was moved to support CHCC.
“I wanted to do something for CHCC because the staff had taken such good care of Dick,” she says. “They also took such good care of my dear, dear friend Marge Roukema.”
A Ridgewood resident of 59 years, Mrs. Swenson and her husband designed and built their home. Their den became the first office of Eastern State Steel Corp., a steel business they founded in 1963. The Swensons raised four children in their Ridgewood home.
“I am so very proud of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild,” she says.
A dedicated community member, Mrs. Swenson is also a supporter of The Valley Hospital and West Bergen Mental Healthcare.
“I continue to support these organizations and Christian Health Care Center as much as I can,” she says.