Tuesday, June 24, 2014 || By Michael Romain
MAYWOOD–Audrey Jaycox, a Village trustee and the current chairwoman of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, was so happy she alerted the DJ to play that sentiment’s synonymous anthem by hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams.
Jaycox was at the podium presiding over the Maywood Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Awards Banquet. It was still early in the evening. The food, which was catered by Maywood restaurant Meal of the Day, hadn’t even been served yet. No matter. Jaycox couldn’t contain herself.
“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say \ Sunshine she’s here, you can’t take a break.”
Before long, nearly everyone in the room was grooving to Williams’s intoxicating falsetto. Not least of whom was Jaycox herself, who has been dreaming of having this event here in Maywood practically since she’s been in a position to do anything about it.
“I told Mariella’s that we are determined to have our banquet here in Maywood,” Jaycox said. “We couldn’t think of anyplace else.”
The banquet, held last Tuesday, June 17, at Mariella’s Banquet Hall (124 S. 5th Avenue), marked the first time in the history of the event that it has been held in the Chamber’s hometown.
The awards ceremony featured two upbeat numbers by Maywood Fine Arts dancers; the Proviso East High School Drill Team retired the colors; and Jaycox, along with the Chamber’s President & CEO, Edwin H. Walker, IV, handed out three academic scholarships worth $1,500 each.
The Shirley S. Nagel Memorial Scholarship recipients included Walther Lutheran High School graduate Julia Abbe; Proviso Math & Science Academy graduate Meagan Hughes; and Proviso East High School graduate Dasia Key. All three will be attending college in the fall.
Among the major award recipients were Sheryl Abel, Director of HOPE, Inc., who earned the Business of the Year (Not-for-Profit) Award; Jack Fitzpatrick, Founder/Chairman of Employment & Employer Services, Inc., who earned the Business of the Year Award, which was announced not long before Mr. Fitzpatrick’s death earlier in this month; Carolyn N. Johnson, Proviso East High School counselor, who earned the Distinguished Service Award; and Larry M. Goldberg, President/CEO of Loyola University Health System, who was the night’s keynote speaker/presenter.
The Chamber also handed out Certificates of Appreciation to Dawood Burhani, President of Jamali Kopy Kat Printing, Inc.; Jospeh Palazzolo, VP/Branch Manager of Popular Community Bank; and Valdimir Talley, Jr., Chief of Police for the Village of Maywood.
During main courses of beef and stuffed salmon, attendees absorbed Mr. Goldberg’s detailed PowerPoint presentation on the status of Maywood’s $1.2 billion neighbor just south of Roosevelt Road.
In addition to delivering a litany of Loyola’s many groundbreaking achievements (for example, in 1988, the hospital became the first in Illinois to conduct a lung transplant), Goldberg also gave an assessment of the hospital system’s financial condition.
“I consider what we do as a public service, but we have to use business principles,” Goldberg said.
Although Loyola boasts a billion dollar annual budget, if it has a billion good intentions it may run out of the money to fund them, unless precautions are put in place. Recognizing that reality, Loyola merged with Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare systems in the country, in July 2011. The move, according to Goldberg, was made to ensure Loyola’s future solvency.
“Per the agreement, Trinity Health becomes the owner of LUHS, while the Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, along with several key research programs and initiatives, will remain within the University,” according to a press release that was issued on the day of the announcement nearly three years ago.
“The organizations will remain interconnected, as Trinity Health will also support these schools by investing in health-sciences education and research, and LUHS physicians will continue to have faculty roles within Stritch,” notes the release.
According to Goldberg, Trinity’s $14 billion budget provides Loyola with a variety of advantages, such as greater purchasing power and the credit-boosting financial status of being aligned with a AA bond-rated organization.
Goldberg also noted that the relationship with Trinity should shore up Loyola’s ability to continue providing critical healthcare to the most vulnerable individuals in the population.
“Loyola takes the sickest patients in the state,” he said. “We have to be careful that we don’t cut off our ability to provide those services.”
In addition to providing life-saving care to the sickest patients, Loyola also both invests in, and subsidizes, more than $120 million in non-profitable initiatives, such as its underwriting of $22 million in educational support programs within the University.
“We do a lot, but it’s never enough,” said Goldberg. VFP
Hats off to Anthony Williams and Byron Diggs of Meal of the Day for inviting me to this event. Read more about their wonderful restaurant here. If you want more photographs of this event, please email your request to email@example.com and we’ll email you the full album for free.