Methodist Hospitals Foundation Celebrates Annual Mardi Gras Benefit - February 18, 2018

Courtesy of NW Indiana Life

Written by Kayla Belec

Anyone strolling through Innsbrook Country Club Saturday night could easily have mistaken their surroundings for New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street. Since 2011, Methodist Hospitals Foundation has been delighting patrons and community members with an annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Benefit. Everything from the sparkling Mardi Gras beads adorning guests’ necks to the bustling bluesy band marching throughout the rooms transported attendees straight to the Louisiana city.

The event included an incredible selection of food and beverages, many of them inspired by Cajun and Creole fare, as well as a caricature artist, the aforementioned Bourbon Street-style band, and a silent auction. This year’s proceeds will be dedicated to the Northwest Indiana Orthopedic-Spine Center at Methodist Hospitals.

“One of the things we just started doing a couple of years ago was highlighting a patient as part of the celebration,” explained Heather McCarthy, President of Methodist Hospitals Board of Directors. “Every year, we get recommendations from different departments of the hospital. We decide from there which [department] we want to highlight, and this year it was Ortho-Spine.”

The patient chosen to share her story was Erica West, who was diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis near her fourteenth birthday. West’s situation was one only able to be rectified through surgery.

“Children with scoliosis typically don’t have pain—it’s one of those things that’s discovered incidentally, usually through something as routine as a check-up with a family physician,” said Dr. Ashish Patel, one of the surgeons who treated West.

“For a child to absorb [the fact] that they have to have surgery-well, that can be a bit overwhelming,” Dr. Patel explained. “Erica handled it like a champ. She’s a very brave and strong young woman, and I am so happy to be celebrating her tonight.”

“While it’s always great to have fun and to get out and support the hospital, we also want to make it a centerpiece for what we do,” McCarthy said. “So, we have the actual patients be the center of the evening.”

Mamon Powers Jr., chairman of the Methodist Hospital Board of Directors, pointed out not only the magnitude of those affected by spinal complications, but the care that the staff brings to each patient who walks through their door.

“Methodist Hospital has a mission to provide high quality healthcare and services to all of those in need,” Powers said. “Spine conditions are the most common reason people seek medical care. These conditions don’t just affect the elderly, it also strikes children, teens and adults. Scoliosis, congenital disorders, athletic injuries, arthritis and more. In addition to compromising comfort, mobility, spine conditions can have a serious impact on employment, family relations, school achievement and overall quality of life. And for the Northwest Indiana Orthopedic and Spine Center at Methodist Hospitals, our surgeons and staff use the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to deliver world-class results for our patients who suffer from these conditions.”

West, now fourteen, is doing just fine: she was released from the hospital four days after her surgery, and has completed her four months of physical therapy.

“We’re so honored to be here,” West’s mother, Sherry West, stated. “I know they think they’re honoring us and doing us a favor by asking us to be the guests of honor, but our being here is out of our honor for them.”

West is most excited to get back to her active life in school.

“I’m really excited to continue playing basketball,” West shared. “It’s going to be my sophomore year [next year]! So I have to play!”

Other attendees were equally thrilled to join in the evening festivities. Omar Perez, Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist who was attending the event for the first time, grinned and turned his palms up.

“Mardi Gras!” Perez exclaimed. “I mean, who doesn’t have a great time at Mardi Gras?”

When asked about what excited him most that evening, aside from the refreshments and dancing, that is, Perez expressed personal interest in the continuing support for Methodist’s Sports Medicine program.

“We just recently became the primary healthcare giver for the Gary Railcats,” Perez enthused. “We are excited to share that with everyone.”

The night illustrated Methodist’s impact on Northwest Indiana in many ways, if not just through the splendid outcome.

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors
Denise and Major Dillard
Extended Care, LLC facilities/NWI
Ronald F. McColly
Carolyn M. Ribordy

Silver Sponsors
Larry Alt and Associates
Dr. Andre and Neva Artis
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Crothall Healthcare
Matthew and Cynthia Doyle
Hodges and Davis, P.C.
Horizon Financial Management
Indiana Surgical Associates
Locke Lord, LLP
MacLennan and Bain Insurance
NW Indiana Radiology Services, PC
Powers and Sons Construction
The Pangere Corporation
Times Media Company
Scott and Nadine Ribordy
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Salvi
West Point Financial – Matt Dilts and Jack Hettiger