By Gerri Krause, manager, Administrative Systems, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Finance Department
I am one of those lucky employees who have been with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute before it took the name Karmanos. I joined the organization 35 years ago when we were called the Michigan Cancer Foundation.
At that time, we were primarily a research institute, with a dedicated breast cancer detection center. Our staff also performed community outreach and education activities from several of our regional offices.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to be involved with many aspects of our Finance Department. Currently, my responsibilities include managing accounts payable, the processing of donor gift data, letters and receipts, handling Karmanos bank deposits, recording revenue and maintaining the Lawson system as it relates to Finance.
As our business changes, so do our needs as far as accounting and finance systems. I’ve always found it interesting figuring out the best way to collect detailed data needed to produce necessary operating reports.
In Karmanos’ corporate Finance Department we have contact with most of our employees at one time or another. We try our best to help everyone navigate through the finance system to get the information, reports, payments and anything else they need in a timely manner. In addition to communicating with Karmanos staff, we have contact with many entities outside the organization, such as vendors, donors, banks and more.
Part of our regular responsibilities include handling donor gift processing and generating thank you letters and gift receipts to all donors each day. We also send out Gift of Hope cards to families for whom a memorial gift was received.
We like what we do in Finance, take pride in our work and enjoy interacting with so many interesting people both inside and outside the organization.
One of the best things about working at the Institute has always been the staff I get to work with. It’s evident that the people we employ enjoy what they do and believe in our mission.
In addition to providing a satisfying career, Karmanos offers many opportunities for employees to volunteer for the cancer cause. I believe in the spirit of volunteerism. When you are fortunate in life, it’s important that you give back in some way.
I have been volunteering for many of our fundraising events, including working as one of the lead staff volunteers at our Karmanos Partners and Annual Dinner fundraising events for the past five to six years. I’ve also worked at the Race for the Cure in pin sales. These events are a lot of work, but are also a lot of fun, rewarding and very worthwhile.
It’s also rewarding to me to be part of a team that helps cancer patients and their families. So many of our lives have been touched by cancer in some way. It’s very comforting to know that our staff is so capable and caring when it comes to our patients and their families.