Doctor cares for others outside the hospital walls
A neonatologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. is making a difference on more than one level. Dr. Brett Galley cares for the tiniest babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and also is a long-term volunteer and member of the board of directors at Franciscan Outreach, a Chicago based organization providing shelter, meals, and case management services for individuals who are marginalized and experiencing homelessness.
Franciscan Outreach is a leading provider of homeless services in Chicago and serves more than 300 men and women each night. Through their five locations, they provide meals, support groups and specialized services that aim to help improve the lives of the homeless.
With a desire to help people out, Dr. Galley and his wife, Kate, became involved with the organization 18 years ago and have served on the board of directors for about 12 years.
“An opportunity came up to volunteer at Franciscan years ago, and after we saw how big the need is we knew we wanted to become involved at a deeper level,” says Dr. Galley.
On the board, the Galley’s have helped develop the mission of the organization, manage the financials, and look for ways to increase funding to the organization by reaching out to prospective donors. Individually, Dr. Galley and his wife try to raise awareness within their own social network of issues facing the homeless. While raising awareness, they also strive to dispel common misconceptions about homelessness. Dr. Galley is particularly grateful to his colleagues across Advocate, who have also supported the cause.
“The most revealing thing to me when I started my work with Franciscan Outreach is how one bad turn in someone’s life can lead them to becoming homeless, especially if they don’t have a support network,” Dr. Galley says. “Franciscan provides the support that most people take for granted. From providing showers, meals and laundry to social work services that help a guest through the process of accessing critical resources needed to make positive changes in their lives.”
Dr. Galley explains that these services are what make all the difference in helping a person slowly get back on their own two feet. Learn about Franciscan Outreach here.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.