Why I Give: Giving Back in Retirement

Kris Doohan, left, established the Saint Luke's North Speech-Language Pathology Fund through a gift of stock. 

Kristine (Kris) Doohan was inspired to become a speech-language pathologist after watching her uncle care for her grandmother, who had suffered a stroke and could not speak or walk. 

Kris began her career with Saint Luke’s in September of 1986 at Saint Luke’s North Hospital–Smithville (formally known as Spelman Memorial Hospital). 

In 1989, she started the speech pathology department at Saint Luke’s North Hospital–Barry Road. 

Kris assessed, diagnosed, and treated patients who experienced trouble swallowing, speaking, thinking, reading, and understanding others. This includes disorders that can occur in conjunction with medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries, cancer, paralysis, and more. 

At the beginning of her career, Kris was the sole speech-language pathology provider across both north campuses and was limited to three days a week. 

Today, a team of speech-language pathologists provides critical services every day of the week. 

She continued to provide exceptional care between the two campuses until her retirement in September 2021.

In March 2023, Kris and Mary Susan Kircher, Saint Luke's South Volunteer Services Manager, initiated the first volunteer program on the inpatient patient care floors at Saint Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in Overland Park, Kansas. This was started to provide both nursing as well as patient care support services.

Most recently, Kris established Saint Luke’s North Speech-Language Pathology Fund through a gift of stock. Her gift was fueled by her desire to ensure her fellow care team members continue to deliver great patient care—and that the program she helped build thrives.

Now, Kris is active with the Saint Luke's South Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council, which collaborates with leadership to improve the safety and quality of patient care at Saint Luke's South.

The scope of practice in the field of speech pathology continues to evolve, and this fund will provide resources needed for Saint Luke's North to continue exceeding industry standards in speech-language rehabilitation.

Learn more about how you can support Saint Luke's Health System through giving.