SVHC Foundation Receives Generous Donation
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SVHC Foundation Receives Generous Donation

BENNINGTON, VT—March 10, 2020—Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) Foundation has received a $300,000 planned gift from local Philanthropist Lillian Sleeman Seward of Bennington, who passed away in November 2019. It is her third gift to SVHC since 2018 and contributes to a total of $600,000 in donations to the health system.

“Ms. Seward was so generous during her lifetime,” said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, SVHC’s president and CEO. “Her commitment to improve the lives of others through charitable works at SVHC and throughout our community will live on through generations.”

The majority of the gift, $250,000, is specifically dedicated to support care at the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, while the remaining $50,000 is for dental care at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC).

“We are humbled by Ms. Seward’s generosity and so grateful,” said Dr. Charlene Ives, the Cancer Center’s medical director. “She was a unique, energetic woman with a wonderful sense of humor.  Her gift will make a significant difference for so many patients, their families, and the experienced staff that care for them in the Cancer Center.”

Michael Brady, DDS, who leads SVMC Dentistry, said, “This is a tremendous gift. It will certainly expand our ability to provide dental treatment to both younger and older patients.”

Ms. Seward was born in Bennington in 1924. She was a graduate of Bennington High School and Syracuse University. In her early years, she worked in real estate. Ms. Seward was known as a transformational donor to the area’s most influential non-profit organizations. Bennington Project Independence’s $2.5 million Dr. Richard A. Sleeman Center was given in memory of her brother. She also supported the Bennington Free Clinic, Meals on Wheels, and the Village School of North Bennington, to name a few.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. For more information, visit

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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