Honoring a Quarter Century with the Les Turner ALS Foundation

After nearly 25 years with the Les Turner ALS Foundation as Manager of Community Education, ALS Support Services Coordinator and Support Group Facilitator, and decades of nursing experience before joining us, Ileane Mindel, RN, is retiring.

Ileane joined us as a Home Liaison Nurse in September 1995 and, along with the late Claire Owen, developed our trademark home-visit program.

Since then, she has supported thousands of individuals with ALS and their families and has led nearly 1,000 support group sessions.

“When you and your family are faced with such an unexpected life journey, Ileane is the one who helps you preserve hope. As our family’s ALS Support Services contact, Ileane was so much more. Ileane became an instant friend, a confidant, someone to laugh with and someone to cry with,” shares Lisa Hanley, Skokie Support Group attendee.

Ileane also served as the clinic representative at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at our Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine. And in her role as Manager of Community Education, Ileane has presented at ALS conferences around the world and conducts in-services to providers around the Chicagoland area.

“From home visits with the family to the Skokie Support Group and so much more, she was truly our best advocate,” shares Robin Fern, Les Turner ALS Foundation Board Member.

Ileane has done all of this with her characteristic compassion, expertise and confidence. As our, CEO Andrea Pauls Backman, has often said, “Ileane has more clinical knowledge of ALS in her little finger than most people on the planet.”

In honor of Ileane’s quarter of a century of support to families living with ALS, we are delighted to announce The Ileane Mindel Support Group Fund, dedicated to ensuring the members of our Les Turner ALS family have access to the immeasurable work of our monthly support groups.

If you would like to make a donation or learn more about The Ileane Mindel Support Group Fund, please click here>>

There is no doubt the Les Turner ALS Foundation, our Center and our Les Turner ALS family are stronger thanks to Ileane’s leadership and support.

Highlighting Ileane’s extraordinary work and legacy are some of those she has touched in her time with us:

The Rooney family has had the pleasure of knowing Ileane for over twenty years. When my mother-in-law Mary was diagnosed with ALS, we soon connected with the Les Turner ALS Foundation and Ileane entered the family providing knowledge, guidance and compassion. Fast forward to 2013 when my husband John noticed weakness in his foot and suspected ALS. He immediately turned to Ileane. He knew she would once again provide her knowledge, guidance and compassion. Ileane is not just a nurse but a part of the family. – Meg Rooney, Les Turner ALS Foundation Board Member

When you and your family are faced with such an unexpected life journey, Ileane is the one who helps you preserve hope. As our family’s ALS Support Services contact, Ileane was so much more. Ileane became an instant friend, a confidant, someone to laugh with and someone to cry with. Ileane is such a wealth of knowledge and I believe this is one of the reasons she has had such an immense impact on so many people. Ileane’s compassion, commitment and dedication to each and every family she has touched over the years, will remain a part of them forever. Our family considers it both a privilege and an honor to have crossed paths with Ileane. Ileane, we wish you lots of fun and new adventures in the next chapter of your life. We love you! – Lisa Hanley, Skokie Support Group attendee

Learning to navigate a diagnosis of ALS is a scary and confusing journey. Lucky for us, and the countless families Ileane has worked with over the past 25 years at the Les Turner ALS Foundation, Ileane Mindel was our captain. From the beginning, Ileane was there to help guide us through every step of dad’s journey. Ileane’s knowledge and compassion are second to none. We are forever grateful for her calming presence and her willingness to go above and beyond to help ensure Dad was comfortable and safe. From home visits with the family to the Skokie Support Group and so much more, she was truly our best advocate. Thank you, Ileane, for your loving care and making a difference in our lives. –  Robin Fern, Les Turner ALS Foundation Board Member

Ileane always knew what was going on with a family before anyone. She could read a room like no one else. That keen 5th sense is what made her the best nurse in the field. She was compassionate and ruthlessly sought-after solutions. Where there’s a will, there’s a way…Ileane emanated what it was to be a nurse. Her legacy will continue for decades because of her imprint on the ALS Community. Thank you, I, for your friendship, professionalism, and dedication to our team! Much respect and love as you enter this next journey! – Jennifer Armstrong Gross, RN, MSN, MHA, former Program Coordinator at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic.

Ileane has always been a nurse’s nurse: someone who thoroughly understands her patients’ medical condition, understands and shares their struggles and triumphs, and sets the bar very high for her own practice while being generous and gracious in sharing her expertise and insights with other colleagues.  It has been a great privilege to work with her. – Nailah Siddique, RN MSN, Research Nurse, Neurogenomics Lab, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

It has been such an honor working alongside Ileane as support group facilitators for almost 25 years. We were not only professionals who shared mutual respect, but we became trusted friends. Several years ago, I felt some tremors in my arms, and to say the least, my mind went to a dark place. I made an appointment with Dr. Scott Heller and, in passing, I mentioned this to Ileane. Several days later, I walk into Dr. Heller’s waiting room, and who is sitting there, but my friend, Ileane. She ‘researched’ my appointment date and wanted to be there to give me loving support and a big ‘Ileane Mindel’ hug. (And great news, nothing was amiss, and all was well with my health). It was a beautiful lesson about the importance of simply ‘being there’ for someone in need. Thank you, Ileane, for all that you do. Sending Love.”  – Anne Lidsky, PhD, ALS Support Services Facilitator

To say Ileane Mindel was a fountain of overflowing knowledge is an understatement. There was never a question or concern that Ileane could not address or resolve. On behalf of the Crockett/Robinson families we are forever grateful for the compassion and professionalism Ileane exhibited throughout Michelle’s journey with ALS. – Deborah Crockett, Les Turner ALS Foundation Board Member

Ileane Mindel, RN, is an exceptional patient advocate. She is the consummate professional whose knowledge and experience of ALS is equal to none. Her impact on thousands of ALS families and professionals over the past 25 years is extraordinary.  Ileane has been a blessing to the ALS community and I’m proud to call her my friend. – Wendy Abrams, former Executive Director, Les Turner ALS Foundation

Ileane tells it like it is, whether you want to hear it or not because she knows you need to hear it. Somehow one nurse knows so many people in so many fields from patients, caregivers, palliative/hospice care, rehab, veterans’ organizations, wheelchair company reps, communication device specialists, etc. – Mary Roemer, Skokie Support Group Attendee