Challenging Times Cannot Stop Philanthropy

Challenging Times Cannot Stop Philanthropy


01/18/21 Stories of Giving

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the generosity from our communities has been incredible to witness.

This fall, we at the CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations look forward to opportunities to continue the important work of philanthropy in new and innovative ways. Your support is so critical to our mission, and we thank you for your generosity as we all navigate these challenges together while celebrating the blessings in front of us every day.

Gifts From the Heart

From March to July 20, 2020, CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations provided $162,385 in support to our employees and patients in need. These gifts were possible because of generous donations from the community, senior leadership, employees and volunteers.

Our faithful volunteers also proved that nothing could dissuade them from serving others. They played an invaluable role in our crisis response and blessed so many lives as they selflessly furthered the mission of CHI Saint Joseph Health. Despite COVID-19 limitations, from January through June, 209 volunteers provided 13,196 volunteer hours at all of our hospitals. Thank you, volunteers!

A Road Map to Better Health

Much of the work we do happens outside of the facilities we serve. We are proud that over the summer the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, Saint Joseph Berea Foundation and Saint Joseph London Foundation received $945,740 in grant funding from CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund to continue the Total Health Roadmap Initiative through 2023.

The Total Health Roadmap initiative addresses “total health” through integration of a universal screening tool and community health workers into the systems of care. This grant addresses social determinants of health through patient screening and connects patients with unmet basic needs to community resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has increasingly revealed that healthy lifestyles deeply impact patient outcomes.

“The mission of the Total Health Roadmap Initiative remains to connect patients to community resources and ultimately improve their health outcomes,” said Leslie Smart, CFRE, president, CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations. “This funding will ensure basic human needs are addressed as a standard of care, while continuing to leverage CHI Saint Joseph Health facilities as ‘anchor institutions’ in their communities.”

The program’s extension will assist CHI Saint Joseph Health in maintaining its role as a provider and partner in the community. The Total Health Roadmap, which CommonSpirit Health identified as a 2019 Bright Spot in its health care system across the country, represents a range of physical, social and psychological conditions, such as availability of food and safe housing, transportation, quality child care, access to behavioral health services and social support.

“We are proud to support the well-being of Kentucky communities and, with this grant, we will be able to extend our outreach and our mission,” said Neva Francis, vice president, Healthy Communities. “Our organization is dedicated to supplying a healthier future for everyone that is inspired by faith, driven by innovation and powered by our humanity.”

In 2019, three primary care clinics conducted approximately 9,000 screenings that focused on social determinants of health and of those, nearly 2,500 patients screened positive for unmet needs.

Other Foundation-supported initiatives include the critical work of our hard-working violence prevention coordinators in Lexington, Berea, London and Bardstown. October was National Bullying Prevention Month, and we are grateful for $1,285,553 in grant funding to ensure that these programs continue to help those facing bullying, violence and other mental and physical health risk factors. 

Yes, Mamm! Continues to Impact Lives

October also is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although our fundraising to benefit breast cancer care through Yes, Mamm! events will look differently this fall, we are so grateful for the constant support of this life-changing program. Since 2012, Yes, Mamm! has raised nearly $1 million to provide free mammography screening, diagnostic testing and program support to underinsured and uninsured patients across Kentucky.

At last year’s Yes, Mamm! luncheon, we heard the testimony of Donna Dye, who spoke about her battle with invasive and aggressive breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

“I will never forget what Dr. Marta Kenney said the day of my mammogram: ‘The mammogram saved your life,’” Dye remembered. “This strong statement will stay with me for the rest of my days. Given another year, the diagnosis could have been very different. Thank God I went! God’s miracle of healing is amazing and comes in many forms, and the Saint Joseph family participates in God’s miracle of healing every day. The warmth, compassion and love they displayed was remarkable!”

She called her care at Saint Joseph “outstanding and phenomenal.” Dye was treated at the CHI Saint Joseph Health – Breast Care Center, CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center and Saint Joseph Hospital.

We look forward to supporting more warriors like Dye and are grateful for your support. Over the summer, the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation received $261,384 in support of the Yes, Mamm! Yes, Cerv! Program. This funding comes from the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program through the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program.

Cancer care is an integral part of the healing mission of CHI Saint Joseph Health and, thanks to philanthropy, our foundations work every day to ensure there are no financial barriers to accessing care. 

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate these unprecedented times. Your kindness makes all the difference in delivering care, hope and compassion to so many who need it. 


A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.

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