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Football Coach Visits St. Luke's to Cheer on a Winning Cause

Coach Chuck Pagano checks out a JoyJar.
By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
June 19, 2013

An inspiring coach with roots in Idaho visited St. Luke's earlier this week to root on a cause he holds dear.

Chuck Pagano, head coach of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, dropped in on St. Luke's Children's Hospital and some of our young patients to tape a promotion for the Jessie Rees Foundation’s JoyJars project.

Jessica Joy Rees, a 12-year-old California girl who died last year of inoperable brain tumors, started the effort by filling jars with treats for pediatric cancer patients. The foundation has continued the work, creating and distributing jars filled with age-appropriate games, toys, and goodies for kids fighting cancer. Thousands of youngsters have received the jars through St. Luke's Children's Hospital and others.

The foundation collaborated with Pagano, who is himself a leukemia survivor, to film a promotional piece. Pagano coached at Boise State University in the late '80s and returns to the area frequently to visit. On Monday, he won the George Halas Award, presented annually by the Professional Football Writers Association to the NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most to succeed.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.