A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The Gift of Health: Local women give more by giving together in giving collective at St. E Foundation

The women’s giving collective at St. Elizabeth Foundation brings together women in this community who are united by a shared passion and who wish to carry on a legacy of healing, hope and help to those in need.

St. E’s new Cancer Center — site of The Gift of Health gathering. Virtual spots still available.

“Now more than ever, our community needs our support,” said Amy Quinn Dye, The Gift of Health Committee Chair. “The Gift of Health supports innovative projects – proposed by St. Elizabeth associates – designed to improve the patient experience or community health. These are projects not covered by insurance or operating budgets, but that will touch patients’ lives in a personal way or fill a critical need for an underserved population.”

Members of The Gift of Health contribute $500 each year, and their gifts are combined to create an annual grant pool. Grant recipients are selected each fall by a vote of the membership.

“Women giving collectively is appealing because it makes philanthropy more accessible and inclusive,” added Quinn Dye. “The contribution is $500, but you can split that cost – and share your vote – with up to four other women, lowering the individual gift amount to just $100. It’s a powerful philanthropic model that allows us to create exponentially more impact together than we could alone.”

Amy Quinn Dye

Since the program’s inception in 2009, its members have awarded $107,903.67 in funds to projects ranging from opioid education to cribs for kids in need to blanket warmers for hospice patients. One of the initiatives selected for funding in 2020 was Hope for Soles, a foot-care ministry for the homeless in Northern Kentucky, set to launch later this summer.

“Our homeless population walks an average of seven miles per day, typically in ill-fitting or worn-out shoes, and in all types of weather conditions,” explained Marlene Feagan, Health Ministries Coordinator at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Last year, we started doing foot checks at our outreach sites, and we noticed severe issues, including disease, deformities, infections and wounds.”

“Out of that came the idea for starting a foot-care clinic, where once a week our Faith Community Nurses would provide cleaning, basic care, assessment and appropriate referral and transportation to medical services. Visitors to the clinic would also receive one new pair of appropriately fitted shoes each year,” added Feagan. “Thanks to support from The Gift of Health, that vision will soon be a reality, as we bring Hope for Soles to our homeless neighbors in Northern Kentucky.”

Jeanne-Marie Tapke

For founding member of The Gift of Health Jeanne-Marie Tapke, it’s that window into the needs of the community and ownership of directing funds toward a specific purpose that have kept her and her daughter, Julie, coming back year after year. “Women have a special voice in the healthcare community, but we’re not always intimately aware of the barriers and opportunities for improving care and outcomes,” said Tapke. “The Gift of Health offers insight into community needs we might not otherwise encounter in our everyday lives – and empowers us to address those needs collectively.”

Interested in learning more about The Gift of Health?

The first “Meet, Mingle and Learn” event for The Gift of Health will take place at the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center on Thursday, July 28, and virtual spots are still available.

Women in the community are invited to tune in to hear about how their support will make an impact and take part in an interactive essential oils workshop. Register to attend virtually at www.stelizabeth.com/goh-social.

Become a member of The Gift of Health at www.stelizabeth.com/giftofhealth.

For questions, please contact St. Elizabeth Foundation at stefoundation@stelizabeth.com or (859) 301-3920.

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