Reinventing healthcare one patient at a time

Press Release

Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family gifts $300,000 to Ellis Promise

Monday, July 17, 2023

Generous donation will support recruitment & retention programs for under-resourced Schenectady residents.


SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The Stewart’s Shops/The Dake Family Foundation has made a $300,000 gift to Ellis Promise, a groundbreaking workforce development program for Schenectady’s under-resourced students and adults.

Ellis Promise is a partnership between Ellis Medicine, Schenectady City School District and SUNY Schenectady. It takes a holistic approach that includes diverse recruiters, success coaches, community navigators and financial support to help graduates of both institutions, along with under-resourced adults, overcome common barriers and achieve long-term success as Ellis employees. The goal is twofold: To help Ellis attract a sustainable and diverse workforce and to give Schenectady residents more extensive opportunities to find and maintain living-wage employment.

“Stewart’s Shops/The Dake Family were early philanthropic investors in Ellis’ RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program. They have paved the way for others, with a similar vision, to support and provide opportunities for staff at all levels to advance in their careers at Ellis.” said Karen Mantas, VP and Executive Director, Ellis Foundation. “We are grateful for their vision, which is the foundation for Ellis Promise.”

The gift from Stewart’s Shops/The Dake Family will support Ellis Promise’s employee retention efforts.  Retention programs include the Advanced Nursing Education Award, which offers up to $15,000 to registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s in nursing or other nursing advanced degrees, and the Create Your Career Award, with grants of up to $15,000 to support essential incumbent healthcare staff in advancing their careers at Ellis by earning an associate degree, e.g., RN, Medical Lab Technologist, or acquiring certification for specific career opportunities.

“As long-time supporters of Ellis Hospital and its goal to recruit and retain staffing, we are proud to support the Ellis Promise and its mission,” said Susan Dake, President, Stewart’s Foundation.

The gift to Ellis Promise is part of a commitment by Stewarts Shops/The Dake Family to donate $9 million to more than 6,500 charitable organizations in 2023. 

Previously announced sponsors of Ellis Promise include KeyBank and the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

For information on Ellis Promise, go to

Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

Ellis Medicine Media Inquiries

Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Department at Ellis Medicine. The Communications Department is open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The department can be reached by phone at 518.232.9288. If you leave a message your call will typically be returned within 24 hours.

All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


Ellis Medicine
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308