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Beaverton Intercultural Council, St. Vincent Medical Foundation to benefit from concerts

TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Baritone Kirk Hansen returns to performance with the ISing Choir after recovering from surgery for a brain tumor back in September. ISings Divine Jazz opens Friday at Bethel United Church of Christ in Beaverton. The two beneficiaries of the ISing Choir’s “Divine Jazz” are the Beaverton Intercultural Council and the Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation.

The Beaverton Intercultural Council is a new non-profit group formed to work with Beaverton’s Sister City Advisory Board. Together, they hope to encourage cross-cultural understanding and to promote educational interest in and tourism between Beaverton and its six (so far) sister cities around the world — Birobidjan, Russia; Cheonan, Korea; Cluses, France; Gotemba, Japan; Hsinchu, Taiwan; and Trossingen, Germany.

According to ISing Choir Conductor and Artistic Director Stephen Galván — he’s the chair of the BIC and also serves on Beaverton’s Sister Cities Advisory Board — they have many goals and projects in the works.

Among those are the possibility of building a Korean garden in the area to honor the relationship with Cheonan, Korea, and hopes to host an international art festival that would include representatives from all of Beaverton’s Sister Cities and Friendly Cities in after the opening of the city’s proposed Performing Arts Center.

The Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation is also close to Ising’s heart after choir member Kirk Hansen had a large brain tumor removed at Providence St. Vincent in September, and later, Providence Health & Services helped cover some $300,000 in Hansen’s medical bills (for more on Hansen’s story, see the April 28 edition of the Beaverton Valley Times).

“This is kind of exciting,” said Joel Kelly, Director of Development for the Providence Brain and Spine Institute and the Providence Orthopedic Institute. “First of all, it’s going to be a terrific program just to draw people in so we’re excited to have an opportunity to get our story out. We’re always looking to educate and engage people in the mission of Providence and of the Brain and Spine Institute and all our programs.”

Kelly shared that one of the most exciting recent developments at the Brain and Spine Institute has been the addition of an intraoperative MRI.

“It’s probably the most advanced MRI system for neurosurgery there is and I believe we are still the only system in Oregon that has it,” Kelly said. “It’s here at St. Vincent’s, and we’re the only one in the Providence system throughout six states that has one so that allows us to do the highest levels of neurosurgery.”

Further, Providence St. Vincent is also in the process of opening a new neurosurgery center that will bring together all the hospital’s resources in that arena.

“We’re opening a new center ... that will bring all of our neurologists together in a kind of central location and facility and enhance that,” Kelly added.