VNA Of Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center And Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Partner Up To Help Post-Acute Patients

North Texas’ incredible growth is due to a lot of things. But time and time again, it’s teamwork that is the common denominator. That is why it’s not surprising that three groups have partnered up to help post-acute patient care.

The trio — the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas — has created a year-long pilot program to “provide good nutrition and daily safety checks to reduce hospital readmission rates, improve health outcomes and help patients age in their homes.”

Katherine Krause (File photo)

It’s not for everyone. Rather it’s been created for “high health care utilization patients and recently discharged patients without proper access to nutritious food due to poverty, lack of a support system, and frailness contributing to their inability to maintain their independence at home.”

According to VNA CEO/President Katherine Krause, “Providing daily nourishment, social contact and safety checks for vulnerable high-risk patients is critical to strengthening our community and reducing medical costs.”

This effort is being funded by the Kozmetsky Family Foundation along with funding from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Tips On Chatting It Up With Boldface Hosts At Visiting Nurse Association’s Legends And Leaders Dinner

You know those celebrities Q&A’s?  You know. The ones that ask questions like, “If you were a fish, what kind of fish would you be?” Well, there’s one favorite question that always seems to pop up — “Who would you have at your fantasy dinner?

Visiting Nurse Association*

Visiting Nurse Association*

The answer is usually a dead relative, a religious icon, a political figure and/or a movie star.

But let’s get real. At least, that’s what the Visiting Nurse Association will be doing for its annual “Legends & Leaders” dinner on Wednesday, March 26, at the Hilton Anatole.

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Chair Lynn McBee is lining up some super-duper boldfacer types to hosts tables. Then guests get to select the table and host with whom they want to sup and chat.

They’re not letting the list out yet, but thanks to insider information, here is a teaser of those you just might want to spend the evening with and potential topics:

Brent Christopher*

Brent Christopher (File photo)

Mary Jalonick (File photo)

Mary Jalonick (File photo)

  • Ruth Altshuler — Has she ever thought of being a nighttime talk show host?
  • Brent Christopher — How many bow ties does he have?
  • Donald Clampitt — Does he think there’s a future for Ereaders?
  • Mary Jalonick — What was the most interesting grant request you ever received?
  • Ashlee and Chris Kleinert — Can you personally drive a food truck?
  • Paula Lambert — Is there really a run on Velveeta?
  • Sharon Lyle — Why didn’t she like growing up in Dallas? (She loves Dallas now.)
  • Kent Rathbun — Who does the cooking in his household?
  • Stan Richards — What is his favorite ad that he didn’t produce?
  • Nicole Small — Did she like dinosaurs as a kid?

And while name-dropping is part of this event’s hoop-la, Roger Horchow and his family are the honorary chairs. And you just know when the Horchows are in the house, it’s a memory maker.

If, by chance, you choose Lynn’s table, ask her about her new job.

* Graphic provided by Visiting Nurse Association

MySweetWishList: Visiting Nurse Association

Katherine Krause*

Katherine Krause*

According to Visiting Nurse Association President/CEO Katherine Krause,

“Thank you, My Sweet Charity, for granting area nonprofits “one wish for the holidays.”  At VNA my wish is simple: I want every senior in Dallas to be fed and I want VNA to provide quality hospice care to anyone who needs it.

“Every day I think about the seniors in our community who are hungry and alone. VNA Meals on Wheels delivers over 4,000 hot, nutritious meals every weekday, along with a friendly smile, but the waiting list for eligible individuals to receive meals is over 3,000!  And the list is growing.

“Thousands of seniors go without food in Dallas County. Our Meals on Wheels kitchen has the capacity to prepare enough meals to meet the need but a lack of resources prohibits us from doing so. You can help us change that. It costs $1,500 to feed a senior for one year. How wonderful it would be to feed more seniors’ spirits as well as their bodies.

“VNA’s bottom line – for 80 years – is patient care in the home. VNA Hospice Care is the oldest, most experienced and trusted hospice provider in Texas. When someone is facing a terminal illness, our dedicated professionals help guide patients and their loved ones so they can make the most of the time they have together.

“Qualifying for hospice care isn’t difficult if you are 65 or older or you have insurance.  But we receive 3 – 5 requests every day to provide hospice care for those who have no resources. These are individuals who are uninsured, or under the age of 65, or simply have no means. Many are parents with young children. They worked until they became sick then lost their health insurance. To provide hospice care for an unfunded patient costs, on average, $5,000 a month. No one should face a terminal illness alone and families should not be left without help.

“The Dallas community can help make my wish come true – that no senior is ever hungry and that hospice care is provided to anyone who is facing the end of life.

“For additional information, please contact Anne Leary at 214.689.2601.”

-Katherine Krause, President/CEO

* Photo provided by Visiting Nurse Association

April 4 Round Robin: Dallas International Film Festival, Visiting Nurse Association, Crystal Charity Ball And Women Of Tocqueville

Unfortunately, MySweetCharity’s elves have been burning the rubber soles off trying to keep up with all the fundraising about town. Thursday April 4 proved simply too much, so the elves had to rely on a “recap” from the field on one event. We’ll try not to let that happen again.

Dallas International Film Festival

Talk was about the father/son of Rob Allyn and Conor Allyn, who wrote and produced “Java Heat.” Conor also directed the film starring Mickey Rourke.

Waiting in the chill

Waiting in the chill

While waiting for them and the rest of the Dallas International Film Festival’s opening night VIP’s to stroll the Mary Kay pink carpet at the new LOOK, the media took their places on the other side of the cord shivering. One vet admitted that in the past, “The silks were great. Today they were under cover.” Pity the poor things who wore shorts and silk skirts and sleeveless tops. They were easy to spot. Their skin had a tinge of blue.

Allan and Lynn McBee and Lee Papert

Allan and Lynn McBee and Lee Papert

But that wasn’t the case for Dallas Film Society’s Lee Papert in his Texas flag shirt, blazer and warm smile.

Lynn and Allan McBee were early arrivals for the carpet presentation. In addition to being DFS chair, Lynn was also one of the Legends at the Visiting Nurse Association at the Fairmont. [More about that later.]

BTW, there were some touches of anxiety earlier in the day. Evidently the fire marshal just barely gave his stamp of approval for LOOK in time for the 100 Paul L. Dunbar Elementary fourth and fifth graders and Billy E. Dade Middle School sixth, seventh and eighth graders to be treated to the carpet walk, celebrity treatment and learn about animation from JIMMY NEUTRON animator Aaron Werntz. It was all arranged through the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, the DFS, the Larry Hagman Foundation and Frazier Revitalization.

Speaking of Arthur Benjamin, the chatter along the media line was that he and Larry Hagman Foundation President Lisa Blue Baron had really hit it off in arranging the kiddo gathering. Good deeds can do that.

Visiting Nurse Association

A crowd of 440 people gathered at the Fairmont Hotel Thursday for the Legends & Leaders dinner, benefiting the Visiting Nurse Association. According to Co-chairs Lori Whitlow and

Lori Whitlow, Meaders Moore Ozarow and Jay Oppenheimer

Lori Whitlow, Meaders Moore Ozarow and Jay Oppenheimer*

Jay Oppenheimer, the first-time event exceeded its $500,000 fundraising goal by a whopping $100,000, giving the VNA a handsome sum for its hospice care, Meals on Wheels and private care programs.

Bill and Gay Solomon and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal*

Bill and Gay Solomon and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal*

 No wonder it was such a success. Guests at the unique dinner were able to choose to sit with more than 60 Dallas leaders from fields including the arts, business, civic, education and food worlds. Among the legends and leaders were Mayor Mike Rawlings, Lynn McBee, Dr. Kern Wildenthal, Keith Cerny, Richard Fisher, Bobby Lyle and Tracie and Kent Rathbun. Honorary Co-chairs were sisters Suzanne Simmons Bartolucci, Peggy Simmons Dear and Betty Simmons Regard.

Crystal Charity Ball

The 2012 Crystal Charity Ball committee handed out mega checks at Nick and Sam’s grill on Preston Road. It was supposed to start at 6:30 p.m., and did! But what usually takes 15 minutes to a half hour to dole out the dough only took seconds, it seemed like, to distribute $4.7M.

Michal Powell, Brian Shivers, Mary Brinegar and Aileen Pratt

Michal Powell, Brian Shivers, Mary Brinegar and Aileen Pratt

Of all the smiles being worn, those belonging to the Arboretum’s Mary Brinegar, Michal Powell and Brian Shivers seemed the biggest. While they hadn’t been on the 2012 beneficiary list, the 2012 CCB team had raised more than planned and provided the Arboretum’s Children’s Garden with a nice surprise of $814,276 as part of its 2012 Beneficiary Distribution.

2012 CCB Chair Aileen Pratt not only looked delighted over the amount raised on her watch, she was also sporting that glow of, “My job is done. Now I can relax.”

2014 CCB Chair Robyn Conlon was flashing grand baby photos of her first grandest daughter, Quinn.  She just may need a separate iPhone to store all of Quinn’s photos.  

Women of Tocqueville

Got this recap of the evening sent in from the field.

Angela Fontana, Jennifer Sampson and Debra Brennan Tagg

Angela Fontana, Jennifer Sampson and Debra Brennan Tagg**

“It was a busy night at the Dior Exhibition, as some of the most powerful – and generous women in Dallas – convened for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Women of Tocqueville gathered.

Shay Geyer mingled with Debra Brennan Tag and Michelle Brennan Hall, sharing her excitement for the Mad Hatter’s Luncheon; while Tiffany Divis shared with Margaret Reid her upcoming plans for Equest.

“Weil Gotshal & Manges partners and best pals Yvette Ostalaza, Penny Reid and Angela Fontana eyed the exhibition, drooling over an iconic cinched-waist couture dress.

“United Way of Metropolitan Dallas CEO Jennifer Sampson, wearing her trademark high heels (which is impressive given her natural height) welcomed Deb Sorelle, Robbi Luxbacher, Dena Miller, Anelise Sacks, Cecily Gooch, Deb Gibbins, Debra Brennan Tagg, Katie Rose, Kristy Faus, Erin England, Sherrie Tawwater, Dipti Vachani, Cece Lia Smith, Patricia Villareal, Deanna Luxbacher and other social swells.”

* Photos provided by Visiting 
Nurse Association
** Photo provided by Women
of Tocqueville

Pitch Your Nonprofit: Visiting Nurse Association

Robert Carpenter and Princella Hartman*

According to Visiting Nurse Association President and CEO Robert Carpenter,

“Hunger among the elderly is one of the most important, yet least known health problems in the United States. One out of every four seniors in our nation goes hungry each day. Over half of all elderly individuals hospitalized each year suffers from malnutrition that either caused their illness or prevented them from getting well.

“Lack of adequate resources, illness, disability, and frailties related to old age prevent many elderly from shopping for food and preparing their own meals.

“The Visiting Nurse Association prepares over 4,000 meals each weekday for home delivery to elderly, sick, and disabled individuals in Dallas County.  Receiving a nutritious home-delivered meal makes it possible for many of them to continue to live in their own homes instead of needing institutional care.

“State funding cuts, though, have put hundreds of elderly on a waiting list to receive Meals on Wheels.

“In addition, more than half of all VNA Meals on Wheels deliveries are made by paid drivers because there are not enough volunteers.  A volunteer driver delivering just one Meals on Wheels route on a single day saves VNA enough money to provide a homebound elderly individual with a home-delivered meal for an entire week.”

“To make a donation or volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels, call (214) 689-0000 or go online at  Thank you for your support.”

– Robert Carpenter, President and CEO, Visiting Nurse Association

* Photo provided by the Visiting Nurse Association

October 25 Round Robin: VNA Lunch, Signature Chefs Auction, Senior Source Underwriters And Rock The Red Door

Thursday, October 26, was the loneliest night of the year at MySweetCharity International headquarters. No one was there. All elves, including interns and retirees, were dispensed to every ZIP code around to cover the countless events for nonprofits on this night. We are pleased to report that all elves eventually made it back, but they’re demanding that Red Bull on the go be provided in the future and Botox treatments be made available.

VNA’s Real Cooking with Kevin Gillespie

Kevin Gillespie

While some guests toured the Meal on Wheels Kitchen at the Visiting Nurse Association Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Center before noon, others stood in line. No, not for food. Rather, it was to have their copy, or rather copies, of “Fire in My Belly” by the chef/author Kevin Gillespie. Followers of Bravo’s “Top Chef” were prepared for the tattoo-decorated arms of the chef/author. Others couldn’t help their eyes making a first stop at the wild boar and copperhead snake tats. But as soon as they got past the decorative arms, they eye-locked with the young Southern chef who was the show’s fan fav.

But he wasn’t at the VNA Center to just sign autographs. Kevin was the centerpiece of a luncheon benefiting the VNA’s Meals on Wheels. Why, he was even going to demonstrate one of his recipes complete with overhead mirror, so all could see the step-by-step procedures.

Fanchon and Howard Hallam

After Luncheon Chair Sara Fraser Crismon welcomed one and all including her sis Beth Enloe, brother-in-law Ted Enloe, niece Rebecca Fletcher, Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, Lyda Hill, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Patsy Donosky, Billie Leigh Rippey, Lottye Brodsky and Suzanne McGee, it was time for the cooking lesson for the 160 guests.

And what did he cook up? Buttermilk biscuits. Oh. . . really? What’s so tricky about making biscuits? Obviously, some folks had never tried their hand only to fail, or had never had a truly memorable biscuit. Within a half hour, Kevin with his boyish charm wove tales of his life in with tricks of the trade in biscuit making, resulting in a dying desire for one of the buttery confections. For instance?

Making biscuits:

  • Use disposable gloves when working with the ingredients.
  • Always use the coldest butter and buttermilk possible.
  • Don’t chop up your butter. Grate the butter with a cheese grater. That’s why it helps to have cold bars of butter.
  • Use real, unsalted butter.
  • Beat your dough flat with your hands. In addition to prepping the dough, it helps you work out the frustrations of the day.
  • When punching the biscuit out, most people put the cutter into the dough and twist. Do NOT twist. Rather, dunk your biscuit cutter in flour and push it straight down into the dough. That’s it. You cut all of your biscuits, then pull the loose dough away leaving the cut-out biscuits. “By twisting it, what you do is you’re actually forcing the outside to close up. If you push straight down, you leave holes behind and those holes allow the air to escape and allow it to rise. If you twist the cutter, it’s like sealing it up. It’s like making a pretzel.” A manicured eyebrow salute was seen throughout the crowd.

Learning how to make biscuits

Shoot, after watching and listening to Kevin, all anyone wanted was a light, buttery biscuit. And what was the first thing to emerge from the kitchen? Platters stacked with biscuits followed by a full luncheon.

Ah, those VNA folks know how to tantalize and fulfill. They should. They provide over one million meals every year to seniors in Dallas.

15th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction

Kent Rathbun chef hugs

The day truly proved that Dallasites love to eat. However, hardly a chef was to be found that evening. It seemed like they were all down at the Omni Dallas thanks to Lead Chef Kent Rathbun. He had rounded up chefs Scott Gottlich (Bijoux), Eric Brandt (Bistro 31), Jeff Harris (Bolsa), Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fishmarket Grill), Mike Sindoni (Charlie Palmer at the Joule), David Holben (Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House), Abraham Salum (Salum and Komali), Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch (Neiman Marcus restaurants), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse), Dwight Harvey (Off the Bone Barbeque), Cameron Handler (Pyramid Restaurant & Bar), Bruno Davaillion (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek), Joel Harloff (The Second Floor Bistro & Bar), Anthony Van Camp (SET Steak + Spirits), Jim Severson with wife Amy at his side (Sevy’s Grill), Shuji Sugawara (Shinsei Restaurant), Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles Concepts), Gilbert Garza (Suze Restaurant), Jason Weaver (Texas Spice), Marcelo Vazquez (T/X Restaurant) and Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee Grill and Bar). Some of these chefs have supported Kent from the beginning and deserved a group hug.

March of Dimes lounge

This was the first time that the huge fundraising eat-athon for the March of Dimes had taken place at the Omni and it really was rather spectacular for the 850 guests including Barbara Daseke soloing it, Mark Edgar talking politics, Kathleen and Robert Gibson checking out the various stations and Nancy Gopez sans camera. From an elegant lounge with oh-so comfy couches to dramatic lighting, the mega-room seemed like a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds and “smells.”

Kent Rathbun and Max Rathbun

While Stephan Pyles himself had to bow out due to “something about opening a new restaurant,” Kent was pleased that his brother Kevin had joined him in preparing venison meatball carbonara. Of course, Kent’s son Max was on the scene better looking than ever.

But it wasn’t all chefs cooking and guests eating. The exercise of the night was auctioneering with Louis Murad and his posse ramrodding the unique live auction. Oh, and what packages they were and what they went for. Why, Kent’s “Taste of the Derby,” which included five days and four night at the Hyatt Place Louisville East Hotel for the Kentucky Derby, transportation via private aircraft catered by Kent, a reserved box at the Derby plus great food, went for a record-breaking amount of $62,500 — “the highest winning live auction bid” in the event’s history.

Then there was the Fund the Mission in which guests raised bid cards at various levels of financial support ranging from $100 to $10,000. This one brought in $129,000.

Before the night was over and the aroma had cleared from the ballroom, Event Chairs Diane Brierley, Shannon Brame, Anita Braun and Dean McSherry had raised $610,000.

One can only imagine what Kent, 2012 Event Chairs Tracy and Jay Bell and Drs. Lisa and David Genecov are planning for “sweet 16,” when the Signature Chefs will return to the Omni on Saturday , October 24, to cook, auction and raise more money for the March of Dimes 75th anniversary celebration.

The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Underwriters’ Party

Nancy Carter, T. Boone Pickens and Anne Motsenbocker

T. Boone Pickens is busier nowadays than a presidential candidate. But unlike the types looking for votes of approval, Boone is being swamped with honors. But this one is really special. On Monday, November 19, he’ll be honored at The  Senior Source‘s Spirit of Generations Awards Luncheon.

Jorge Calderón and Emilynn Wilson

To get things rolling the luncheon’s underwriter party sponsored by Capital One Bank was held at Debbie Oates‘s marvelous Preston Hollow home. Oh, so perfect for any occasion except when all the guests want to stay in the entry. That was the problem. But who was complaining when Luncheon Chair Extraordinaire Nancy Carter all in red is at the front door making “gracious” seem easy or mixing it up with Christie Carter fresh from producing the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels dinner, Lee Ann and Alan White on their way to a dinner engagement and luncheon underwriting chair Emilynn and Claude Wilson promising the final results from the Kidney Texas luncheon.

Attitudes & Attire Announcement

Lyn Berman, Michael Faircloth and Dr. Sandra Chapman*

Dr. Sandra Chapman was indeed a busy girl this week. In addition to running the Center for BrainHealth, Tuesday she oversaw the Legacy Dinner honoring Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan. But this evening the tables were turned on her at Maggiano’s at NorthPark Center by Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman. It was announced that “Sandi” would receive the Kim Dawson Award at the annual luncheon and fashion show at the Dallas TradeMart on Friday, March 1.

It was also revealed that Dallas designer Michael Faircloth would be the event’s honorary chair. Funds raised from the luncheon/show help the personal growth of women seeking self-sufficiency through traditional job training, positive self-image, appropriate workplace behavior and appearance.

Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s Rock the Red Door

The last little elf turned in this report:

Halloween came early at House of Blues Thursday night. Over 350 party goers dressed as all things 80’s–from aerobics maniacs to glam rockers–attended the Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s annual fundraiser, Rock the Red Door.

Chace Crawford and Meredith and Rand Wrighton*

Emcee Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl star — also Tony Romo‘s brother-in-law — spent the greater part of the evening graciously taking photos with guests. Stoli provided the evening’s signature drink named The Chaser after guess who… The always fun Spazmatics had the crowd of Don Johnsons and Madonnas, along with lots of leg-warmers and hair bows, dancing the night away!

Event chairmen, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, promised a “totally gnarly 8o’s Halloween bash complete with wicked tunes, righteous food and drinks and some sweet auction items” such as 2 tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, 2 tickets to NYC Fashion Week  and Tony Romo signed memorabilia.”

They delivered! The party scheduled to end at eleven — after all, it was a week night — rocked on considerably later.

Sponsors for 2012 Rock the Red Door benefiting Cancer Support Community included Steve Brown, Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation, Grant Thornton, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, SLALOM Consulting, Park Place Volvo and Starwood Motors.

* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire
** Photo provided by Cancer Support Community