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SBL WomenConnected Reaches 17 Years of Giving

Sarah Bush Lincoln community programs received additional funding through the generosity of WomenConnected, a women’s giving circle within the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation. The group recently awarded $48,823 in grants to eight programs and projects within the Health System, bringing the group’s total giving to $720,871 in 17 years.

WomenConnected is comprised of 86 women from Coles and surrounding counties, as well as Georgia and Texas who, through their membership contributions, help fund and direct the expansion of services provided by Sarah Bush Lincoln.

The group most recently awarded grants to programs including Peace Meal, SBL Dental Services, Healthy Communities, Center for Healthy Living scholarships, The Heart Center, Healthy Communities and SBL Psychiatry and Counseling. The awards will be available in fiscal year ‘21.

“Individually these generous women make a membership contribution. Contributions are then pooled together into a fund that provides grants resulting in significant support to our programs and services at Sarah Bush Lincoln. And the best thing is, members have a voice on which programs they want to support,” Amy Card, SBL Health Foundation Director, said. “I think each member takes pride in the fact that it’s rewarding to be a part of a larger effort that is truly impacting the lives of people across our service area. And for this amazing group of ladies to have given nearly $721,000 in just 16 years, impacting thousands of people, is remarkable. Sarah Bush Lincoln is so grateful for this group.”

Dental Services received $28,142 to provide restorative and preventive care to children with no or limited dental insurance and who are on the free or reduced school lunch program. The program serves more than 2,400 children in 66 area schools, in which 31 percent of the children have moderate signs and symptoms of gum infection and 35 percent require urgent treatment often with five or more cavities. These funds will help 245 children. It also provided funds for oral hygiene kits, which include a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. They will be distributed to children in the program.

Dental Services Director and WomenConnected member Laura Bollan said, “With the help of WomenConnected, we are able to help thousands of children. Many of the children we work with don’t have a toothbrush, and sometimes they share one with a family member, so when they get their own dental kit, they are all smiles.” She added that the key to the success of the dental program is the restorative work funded by WomenConnected that happens in dental offices and on a mobile operatory.

“Children come to us in pain due to tooth decay and infection which impacts their young lives in so many ways, from inability to focus in school because of the pain, to dropping out of their social circle because they are embarrassed of their decaying teeth. Our goal is to provide the tools and education to prevent this from happening. The generosity of WomenConnected helps us do this,” Bollan said.

Other grant funds were awarded to Healthy Kids Education for fitness equipment for elementary schools that helps kids concentrate in the classroom, a horizontal rock climbing wall and funds to host assemblies to build awareness of cyber bullying.

WomenConnected provided $1,170 for to the Heart Center to provide blood pressure monitors to its patients who need to monitor their blood pressure daily, but have no means to purchase one. It also provided scholarships to individuals in need of medically monitored exercise through the Center for Healthy Living.

SBL Psychiatry & Counseling received $500 for its emergency fund to help patients who cannot afford to pay for emergency medications or injections to stabilize severe mental health concerns, while Peace Meal received $2,500 for to help cover the cost of 500 meals.

WomenConnected members include: Carol Adams, Fatima Alao, Cathy Babbs, Vickie Baker, Ann Beck, Kristen Bliss, Charleston, *Sally Bock, Laura Bollan, Mary Bovard, *Judy Brown, Amanda Burton, Amy Card, Beth Catt, Lori Cudone, Sabra Culp, Jeanne Cunningham, Jeanne Dau, Dixie Dickens, *Sheila Dively, Samantha Eggleston, Lana Esker, Sharon Fox, Marisa Friscia, Carol Jo Fritts, Laura Glenn, Kelly Green, Barb Hall, Wendy Hastings, Susie Hay, Katie Hecksel, *Patty Hedges, Heather Heicher, Jodi Hildebrandt, Leslie Hill, Sasha Hollman, *Barbara Hoppin, Maggie Huffman, Linda Keeler, Peggy Kepp, Karen Lindley, Kim Lockart, *Joyce Madigan, Nancy Marlow, Michelle Mathews, Tracey McCord, Annmarie McDonagh, *Tess Melvin, Becky Metzger, Sandy Miller, *Melanie Mills, Carol Myerscough, Doreen Nelms, Nancy Nguyen, Cheryl Noll, Diana Oakley, Marcia Parker, Kirsten Pentzien, Erica Perrino Linda Perry, Patty Peterson, Jerri Pine, Bernie Pluard, Carol Ray, Allyson Richards, Debbie Saddoris, Debbie Sandercock, Nancy Schilling, Karla Schubert, Karen Smith, Ruth Smith, Debbie Sparks, Erica Stollard, Jenny Swearingen, Margie Swensen, Nancy Swits, Leslie Taggart, *Edie Terwilliger, Kim Uphoff, Meghan Wahl, Linda Wente, Janet White, Mary Lou Wild, Pat Williamson, Brooke Zerrusen, Jone Zieren.

*Charter Member since 2003.

For more information about WomenConnected, contact Amy Card at 217-258-2511.