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Beacon Health Foundation, Legacy Heating & Air team up to replace Memorial employee’s furnace

Two members of Legacy Heating and Air’s team stand by the new furnace they installed in Alicia Rogers’ house.

As a Unit Assistant in the Memorial Hospital ICU, Alicia Rogers has made a habit of giving to her team and her patients.

With most of her team in full PPE as a precaution against COVID-19, Alicia noticed how much everyone was sweating. So she started filling up a cooler with water bottles and setting it out where her colleagues could grab a drink to rehydrate. This kind gesture has continued throughout the pandemic.

She also takes her role as a caregiver very seriously, realizing the important role she plays in the wellbeing of her patients. “We’re their friend, their family, everything,” Alicia said.

When the fan in her furnace malfunctioned as temperatures started to rise at the end of last winter, Alicia continued to give. Alicia worked extra shifts and set aside every dollar she could to pay for a furnace replacement.

She and her husband looked into replacing the part, but it had been discontinued. And replacing a furnace on short notice was cost-prohibitive. “They’re not cheap,” Alicia said.

Then her husband suffered an injury that kept him out of work for four months.

And as winter neared, life added another complication: An electric fire struck the house of Alicia’s mother, who had just left the hospital following heart surgery. That meant Alicia’s sister and her children needed to move into Alicia’s house.

Alicia worked more hours in her ICU role to make up for her husband’s lost income, but winter was approaching fast. “A friend of mine noticed how much I was working and asked what was happening,” Alicia said.

Eventually, news of Alicia’s situation reached Susan King, President of Beacon Health Foundation. “Sarah [Paturalski, vice president of Nursing at Memorial] called me and asked if we could help,” King said.

King and the Foundation team reached out to Legacy Heating and Air, an HVAC company that has been serving Michiana since 1940. “Legacy Heating is a wonderful partner in the community and very supportive of Beacon Children’s Hospital,” King said.

Within days, Legacy was hard at work in Alicia’s house, installing a brand new furnace.

“I don’t cry, or at least I try not to,” Alicia said. “But I bawled like a baby when I saw the furnace.”

Legacy provided a significant donation related to the furnace and installation, giving their time and covering equipment costs. Additional costs were covered by Beacon’s Associate Emergency Assistance Fund, part of the widely-supported GEM Associate Giving Program. In the end, Alicia paid nothing.

“They even threw in a special filtration system, because they knew I worked with COVID patients,” Alicia said.

Alicia said the gift from Legacy and the Beacon Health Foundation even made her husband tear up. “I can’t say how proud I am to work for Beacon — for a company that would do something so kind.”

King said the gift was a result of donations from across — and outside — Beacon. “This is a great example of how through the generosity of our associates and our community we are able to make such a difference to an entire family this holiday season.”

About Benjamin Dashley