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Celebrating Lutheran's past, present, and future during "Mission Week"

March 7, 2008, Brooklyn, New York…Lutheran HealthCare wrapped up a special Mission Week celebration highlighted by visits from the Rev. Dr. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. The annual event helped to celebrate Lutheran's 125 years of continuing the mission and service of its founder Sister Elisabeth Fedde, who created what's known now as Lutheran HealthCare, in 1883.

"Mission Week is an annual celebration that helps underscore our rich faith-based heritage, values, mission, and ongoing service to the Brooklyn community," says Rev. Don Stiger, SVP for Mission and Spiritual Care. "Since Lutheran's founding in 1883, Brooklyn has been one of the most culturally, religiously, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the world, and we take great honor in re-dedicating ourselves, each year, to providing the best possible high quality care to everyone of every faith, and every culture."

The week's highlights included visits by the Rev. Dr. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA, and Marty Markowitz, borough president, on Feb. 27. Bishop Hanson officiated over the unveiling and blessing of the Sister Elisabeth Fedde tapestry, which she gave as a gift to Lutheran on her 70th birthday, Christmas day, 1920, just two months before her death. He also addressed a standing room only crowd in the medical center's auditorium.

Bishop Hanson commended Lutheran's dedication to continuing Sister Fedde's mission of serving the community. "She remains a symbol of all of you who continue to serve," said Hanson. "When I travel through the world, I will be able to say I visited a place in Brooklyn that treated people by the virtue of their humanity." He also said, "Lutheran has been compared to a gem. Like a gem, it has many facets and is leading the country in a new health care pathway."

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz also addressed those present and presented the bishop and Wendy Z. Goldstein, LHC president and CEO, with a proclamation officially recognizing Wednesday, February 27, as Lutheran HealthCare Day in Brooklyn.

The weeklong series of events ended with Festspill, a traditional Norwegian festival where the outfits, food, artwork, and music of the area's first Norwegian settlers were showcased for visitors, staff and patients to enjoy.

In 1883, Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess-Nurse, Sister Elisabeth Fedde, created the building blocks for Lutheran HealthCare with the founding of the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital, known today as Lutheran Medical Center and overall as Lutheran HealthCare. She died on February 25, 1921, and is commemorated each year on that date by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 


As Brooklyn's premier heath care network, Lutheran HealthCare (LHC) is a comprehensive medical and social support system committed to providing services for the whole person -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. The LHC system of community health providers includes Lutheran Medical Center, the Lutheran Family Health Centers, Lutheran Augustana Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, Community Care Organization, Inc, Health Plus, senior housing programs and more. Learn about LHC and its 125-year-old commitment to serving Brooklyn neighborhoods by visiting

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