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Part of something bigger

Part of something bigger

For most of us, the workplace is an important influence on our lives. If we're lucky, a job is more than a means to earn a living, offering instead the opportunity to do what we love-in an environment that helps us thrive-knowing, all the while, that we are making a difference.

Such is the case for Sally and Edward Miner, MD, retirees of Gundersen Health System who are grateful to have worked at Gundersen Health System and have, therefore, made it a practice to "give back."

Ed and Sally grew up in different states, but careers in healthcare eventually brought them together. Ed grew up in Pepin, attended college in Madison, and moved to La Crosse in 1964 to work in internal medicine. "I remember being told I was the thirty-ninth physician hired at Gundersen," remembers Ed. "When I retired, that number was over 300."

Early in his career during a staff meeting, Dr. Adolf Gundersen shared information about Gundersen Medical Foundation. Ed, who knew the Foundation supported medical education soon made a donation, becoming one of the first donors from outside the Gundersen family. "It was clear that the Foundation would accomplish good things," says Ed, who went on to serve on the Foundation's Board of Directors from 1970 -1991.

Sally grew up in Nodine, Minn. In 1976, she began working as an LPN at La Crosse Lutheran Hospital (which would later become Gundersen Medical Center). She later earned a degree from Winona State University in Winona, Minn.

As co-workers who both loved their jobs, Sally and Ed crossed paths fairly frequently at Gundersen, but one day a simple hallway conversation sparked something special. The two eventually married in 1998. Over time, their mutual support of the Foundation grew, even after Ed's retirement in 1999 and Sally's retirement in 2010.

"The Foundation does a lot to support initiatives that benefit Gundersen Health System, its employees, and its patients, such as funding medical education and research. We appreciate our own professional experiences, so we want to give back," says Sally, who also pays it forward by volunteering at Gundersen and by serving on the board of Gundersen Partners, the Health System Auxiliary.

Because of their generosity, Sally and Ed have been recognized by the Foundation as members of the Legacy Society (for remembering the Foundation in their estate plans) and the Founders Society (for reaching cumulative giving of $50,000 or more). As part of their support, the Miners have chosen to give the gift of appreciated stock. This form of giving is not only easy, they point out, but also offers maximum tax benefits.

Though their individual dedication to their peers and patients at Gundersen Health System, along with their shared desire to "give back" through volunteerism and philanthropy are remarkable, Sally and Ed prefer to keep the spotlight on the Foundation. "We are so proud of the positive impact the Foundation makes on so many within the community," shares Ed. "It feels good to be a small part of something bigger."


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