Student Nurses Association Donates $1,000

May. 10, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

Dr. Carol Wilson, dean of USF’s Leach College of Nursing; Caitlyn Coneset, SNA vice president; Crystal Conteras, SNA president; John Roberts, HERO president; Lauren Vandelinde, SNA fundraising rep; Kate Weigel, LCON assistant professor and SNA faculty advisor; and Dr. Deb Peterson, LCON professor and associate dean.

The University of St. Francis (USF) Student Nurses Association (SNA) proudly presented a $1,000 donation to the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization (HERO) on Monday, May 1. Money was raised through an SNA clothing sale; the sale of Leach College of Nursing (LCON) lanyards, badge pulls and decals; and a campus-wide blood drive with Heartland Blood Centers. The blood drive was the university’s most successful drive to date, with 47 units of blood collected.

SNA President Crystal Conteras and LCON assistant professor and SNA Faculty Advisor Kate Weigel were present with several members of the SNA student organization to present their check to HERO at the St. Clare campus Monday afternoon. Chief John Roberts, president and co-founder of HERO, was present to receive the check and thank the group for their donation.

“In 2009, I lost my son, Billy, to heroin. Families shouldn’t have to feel that kind of pain. That’s why we founded HERO—to help families with grief and family support. You can be assured we will put this donation to good use,” stated Roberts.

Each semester, SNA hosts several fundraisers that allow them to make a donation to the organization of their choosing. Several individuals associated with SNA volunteer for HERO, and as aspiring health professionals, the student group felt it was appropriate to support an organization working to eliminate the heroin issues facing the region and country. Past organizations that have received a donation from the USF Student Nurses Association include the Alzheimer’s Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Pink Heals of Joliet.

The Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization is a national not for profit organization whose mission is to provide support to families and individuals who have lost a loved one to heroin or opioid use and stop the growing heroin epidemic sweeping our nation. Roberts and Brian Kirk founded HERO after their two sons, Matt and Billy, were tragically taken from them while battling a heroin addiction. HERO provides their own programming and support to those affected by heroin or opioid use and supports strategic pieces of legislation that seek to end the heroin epidemic.

The Student Nurses Association contributes to the personal and professional growth of nursing students through social and educational activities. It provides leadership opportunities and stimulates interest in professional nursing organizations. SNA holds several community projects each semester. All USF nursing students can participate in SNA.

For more information about the Leach College of Nursing or student organizations at the University of St. Francis, please visit

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,900 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.