Liz Bessette worked for 47 years as a nurse at St. Francis, including 33 years as director of nursing. She was instrumental in the development of the nurse navigator role in Kansas and then served as the state’s first nurse navigator in the St. Francis Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2003 until retirement in 2014. She continues to volunteer in the gift shop with her husband, Jerry, who also served as a Eucharistic minister. Since 2005, he has volunteered more than 2,000 hours at St. Francis.
The Bessettes will receive the Heart of St. Francis Award, for those who demonstrate a passion and commitment to creating a healthy and vibrant St. Francis Health community. Criteria include excellence in service above and beyond the normal duties of their profession who have demonstrated a lifetime of servant leadership, and, through their daily example, illuminated and reinforced the significance of the values found in St. Francis Health’s mission statement.
Dr. Kooser is a retired radiation oncologist who practiced 29 years with Radiology and Nuclear Medicine , LLC, primarily at the St. Francis Radiation Oncology Center. Mr. Good, who is a retired software engineer and CPA, is active as musician in Topeka and Kansas City. He has served a number of area churches as organist, and performed as harpsichordist with Sunflower Festival Orchestra and other regional ensembles. Through the years the couple has contributed generously to the St. Francis Foundation, Topeka Rescue Mission and the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library.
The Kooser-Goods will receive the Caritas Award, which recognizes those extraordinary individuals who have deeply influenced and significantly contributed to the vision, direction, and growth of the Topeka community. These professionals lead by example and create positive change in our community.
With the theme Jazz It Up, the 10th annual Caritas Ball will be held October 15 at the Ramada Downtown Hotel and Convention Center. Proceeds raised at the event will support the Comprehensive Cancer Center and help St. Francis continue its mission to serve the health needs of individuals in the community, especially those who are poor or vulnerable.
More information and online registration available at www.CaritasBall.org.