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Swedish American Health Foundation

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Investing in Health, Hope & Community

Two people hugging while three others look on.

Investing in Health, Hope & Community

A legacy of supporting remarkable care.

Beginning with a $1 contribution from O.F. Nilson in 1911 to establish a Swedish hospital, a culture of philanthropy has persisted for over 100 years to improve the health and well-being of our northern Illinois community. Today, this culture has left an enduring legacy, championing compassionate care and excellence in health care.

Together, we can make a difference for our family, friends and neighbors by investing in health, hope and community—right here, close to home.

Our mission

To provide financial and in-kind support for the stated missions of Swedish American Hospital System Corporation, Swedish American Hospital and affiliates operating in the State of Illinois (all part of UW Health in northern Illinois).

SwedishAmerican Health Foundation was formed on August 6, 1980, and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with Tax ID #36-3097493.

We fund remarkable care in northern Illinois at:

Our leadership

SAHF is fortunate to have committed local staff and board members who have deep roots in northern Illinois and understand firsthand the impact investments in health care have on our region’s families, businesses and economy.


Connect with Barb on Linkedin

Barb Aaby

Executive Director

Barb joined the SAHF team in January 2023 bringing great enthusiasm to the role. She feels deeply inspired and connected to the mission and goals of SAHF and UW Health and is passionate about sharing the SAHF story so others can experience the wonderful joy in giving.

Viki Irwin

Philanthropy Specialist

Viki joined the SAHF team in May 2023. She may by “new” to the Foundation, but she has worked at SwedishAmerican/UW Health in the marketing department for nearly 30 years and was even born right here at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

Board of Directors

The SAHF Board of Directors is comprised of local volunteers with strong community connections committed to responsibly managing funds donated.

Board Chair: Michael Broski
President, Entré Computer Solutions

Travis Andersen
President and CEO, UW Health in Northern Illinois

Sarene Alsharif, LDN, MPH
CEO and Co-Founder, Tad More Tailoring and Alterations

Jen Baker, CPA
Chief Operating Officer, Byron Bank

Martesha Brown
NWIL Regional Community Development Relationship Manager, Midland States Bank

Lesly Couper
President, Workplace Staffing

Adam Fleming
Partner, WilliamsMcCarthy, LLP

Carly LaMonica
President, LaMonica Beverages

Jeff Marrs
Financial Advisor/Financial Planning Specialist, Morgan Stanley

Ana Montoya
Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Rock Valley Credit Union

Dave Rydell
Chairman, Bergstrom Inc.

Steve Sjogren
Retired Chairman, President and CEO, Ben Franklin Bank of Illinois