Linda Baginski found her motivation in the very disease that eventually would take her life.
Baginski, former City of Hope employee and volunteer, died of breast cancer June 10. She was 55.
|Linda Baginski (Photo by p.cunningham)|
The Department of Supportive Care Medicine will hold a memorial ceremony celebrating Baginski’s life on July 19 at 2 p.m. outside the Visitor Center. Refreshments will be served afterward in the Visitor Center, where attendees may view displays highlighting Baginski’s contributions to the institution.
While in treatment in 1997, Baginski started volunteering at City of Hope. She later was hired as a nursing administrative coordinator and then moved to the patient and family learning center, where she served as a patient resources coordinator for nine years.
Baginski received the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative Award of Excellence in 2003 for her services at the center and contribution to cancer pain management.
“Linda dedicated her exceptional leadership skills, creativity, energy and intelligence to fulfillment of her heart’s passion: supporting patients and families throughout their cancer journey,” said Annette Mercurio, M.P.H., M.C.H.E.S., director of programs for the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. “She touched and uplifted the lives of thousands of patients and their families with her love, compassion and advocacy.”
Baginski helped create many programs and services including the breast cancer group Pink Links, which organized large, successful teams for Walk for Hope Nationally Presented by Staples and conducted other fundraising and educational activities. She also chaired program planning for the first official Cancer Survivors Day at City of Hope. She garnered donations and volunteers and hosted an event for 1,400 attendees, and subsequently led the annual celebration through 2009.
In addition, Baginski worked with clinical marketing staff to launch Ask the Experts, an educational series for patients, families and the community. She also started the creative writing program Writing for Wellness and boosted the medical center’s peer-to-peer support program for patients. Finally, she was instrumental in starting the Hands-on-Harps music program as well as a holiday party for patients and the patient newsletter Hope Notes, now called High Hopes.