2017 Spirit of Caring Recipients Announced

2017 Spirit of Caring Recipients Announced


Crusader Community Health announced the recipients of the annual Spirit of Caring Awards at its 45th Anniversary EVENING OF CARING event, Friday, October 20, 2017 at Giovanni’s. The event, attended by 500+ supporters, recognized 45 years of caring at Crusader Community Health.The evening featured a 1972-era theme, entertainment from The Groove Hotel as well as a silent and live auction.

Proceeds from the event will support a special needs program, Community Connections. The outreach program at Crusader benefits Crusader patients on a one-to-one basis. For more than 45 years, Crusader has strived to ensure all persons in the community have access to quality, affordable primary health care. The clinic now serves the health care needs of over 54,000 local patients.


The Crusader Community Health Foundation initiated the Spirit of Caring awards in 1992 to honor special individuals and organizations in our community who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in caring for others. A special Spirit-of-the-Future Award honors persons 40 years and younger for their caring efforts was added in 2014. This year, eleven individuals and fourteen organizations were nominated for the awards. Crusader Community Health presented the 25th Spirit of Caring awards to: Marva Brown, Einar Forsman, Ruth Little and Sydney Turner. The organization award recipient was Youth Services Network.

In memory of her grandson, James Lesley Harkins, Marva Brown founded the Harkins Community Memorial Fund. This fund assists families of limited resources with information, financial assistance and emotional support in their personal time of crisis and grief. In addition, the family has worked with the Rockford Park District to make important design changes to the Fairgrounds pool, the site where Marva’s grandson tragically lost his life in a drowning. One supporter wrote, “Marva is an angel among us” who has the amazing ability to turn tragedy into triumph.

For nearly three decades, Einar Forsman has continued to make the Rock River Valley a better place to live, work and raise families. In addition to being the CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, he is actively involved on a volunteer basis with nine non-profit organizations. His nominator describes him as a husband, marketer, civic collaborator, idea generator, business developer and partner to all. The direct impact of his work ripples throughout the community and will be seen for decades to come.

Ruth Little is a committed and dedicated volunteer who has taken on leadership roles and helped foster the success for many organizations in Rockford. She has been actively involved in seven boards, many as board president, over the past 30+ years. Because of her decades of service and leadership to these organizations, she has helped establish projects, programs and relationships that make our community a better place to live.

Sydney Turner was nominated by IGNITE Rockford—the Young Professional’s arm of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. She has volunteered hundreds of hours in the Rockford area with many local organizations including the Rockford Rescue Mission. Sydney is passionate about community involvement and volunteerism. Her nominator noted, “Sydney goes above and beyond in volunteering and is truly a future star of the region”.

Youth Services Network as a servant leader, ambassador, and advocate, as well as relationship builder of other community agencies. Many agencies, youth and families in the Winnebago and Boone Counties have benefitted from its work over the past 35 years. Its mission is to develop, provide and coordinate services that improve the physical, psychological and social well-being of youth. Their most significant impact is the positive life changes experienced by 7,000 youth and their families served by the program annually. They are creative and caring…doing what it takes to help each person in their care believe in themselves and their abilities.

Walgreens Recipient of  Crusader’s Distinguished Caring Partner Award

The Walgreens specialty pharmacy located on the Crusader Community Health campus on West State Street in Rockford is one of 260+ Walgreens Community and Health System pharmacies that focus on community-based, patient-centered care for managing complex health conditions, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and transplant, to name a few. Walgreens at Crusader Community Health specifically helps HIV/AIDS patients navigate the complexities of their treatment and provides comprehensive support. This including everything from helping patients with medication adherence and providing refill reminders and automatic refill services and home delivery.  Walgreens pharmacists help patients develop customized medication programs to help them stick with their medication plans.

Walgreens local specialty pharmacies help empower Crusader patients who have chronic, complex and rare health conditions with easy access to their specialty and traditional medications. Walgreens is committed to helping its patients lead healthier and happier lives. And, by working collaboratively with health systems and providers in the community, Walgreens help provide care for patients managing these complex conditions.

Crusader Community Health extends special thanks to its generous sponsors.