Roberta Swift Memorial Grants
Applications for 2019 grants are now closed. The next grant application opportunity will open in January 2020. Please check back at that time.
Purpose of Fund
The Roberta Swift Memorial Fund will provide grants to Ascension Health Care associates who attend or participate in educational opportunities that will enhance the associate’s ability to train, teach or develop colleagues and/or to develop a specific Ascension Health Care patient or customer population.
To be eligible to apply, associates must be currently employed by Ascension Health Care on a part-time or full-time basis, and document their plan on how they will be able to train, teach or develop colleagues, patients or customers following their specified training.
Roberta Swift Memorial Grants are awarded annually. Grant applications each year are posted on the website in January, with a due-date for submission on or near March 1st. Applications are reviewed by a sub-committee and applicants will receive notice of their funding status in early April.
Donations are welcome to St. Michael’s Foundation’s Roberta Swift Memorial Fund to sustain the fund and continue to award educational opportunities to the associates of Ascension.
Roberta Swift Memorial Fund Leaves Legacy
To Roberta Swift, Ministry Health Care wasn’t just the place she worked. It was her life.
Roberta personified Ministry, and vice-versa, according to Harlan Swift, Roberta’s husband. “She had this complete passion for what Ministry was about. The more she became involved in Ministry’s mission, mission integration, and its values, the more she reveled in her work with Ministry’s employees. She loved the people at Ministry. It was a wonderful match,” he said.
Roberta’s position as vice president of mission and culture allowed her to travel throughout the Ministry system, coaching employees, and experiencing all the good that came with that role. Her coaching helped others to provide the best patient care possible.
Sr. Lois Bush, SSM, Vice President - Integration, worked with Roberta for most of her years at Ministry. She said Roberta loved the health care ministry. For those who knew her as supervisor, teacher or colleague, the love of health care was evident throughout her career. “Roberta approached every day like she just walked into a candy store - a place bright and cheerful, full of options, each one sweet,” said Sr. Lois.
“Roberta was full of excitement and joy over what the day might hold … and that attitude was infectious.” Serving others was something Roberta did throughout her career, beginning with her role in providing patient care as a registered nurse in Janesville; Winona, Minnesota; and as a night supervisor at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Marian College (now Marian University) in Fond du Lac, and a Master of Science degree in organizational behavior from Silver Lake College.
As a highly respected employee of Ministry Health Care who worked in education and training for over 25 years, her legacy will continue to touch the lives of Ascension associates through her memorial fund.
Roberta passed away in December 2011 at age 58 after a long battle with ALS. Her husband, Harlan, and children, Matthew Swift and Erin Smith, started the Roberta Swift Memorial Fund at Saint Michael’s Foundation in Roberta’s memory, and to honor her passion for education and training.
“This gift to Saint Michael’s Foundation is about Roberta and the people of Ministry Health Care for whom she cared a great deal,” said Harlan. “We, as a family, cherish the opportunity to honor Roberta by creating a legacy that can now benefit associates of Ascension Wisconsin and the people they serve. We envision the fund as a simple pebble dropped into the universe of good that can be accomplished, and it is designed to have a ripple effect. Those who benefit from this fund will demonstrate that they have affected the lives of others. As the fund grows, the pebble gets bigger and the ripple effect expands. We want the Roberta Swift Memorial Fund to benefit the associates of Ascension, to be able to do some good in honor of Roberta, because Ministry was not only a part of her life, it was her life. We want to be able to do some good as an extension of that.”