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Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation Receives More Than $484,000 to Support Local At-Risk Youth

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 4, 2022) – The Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, on behalf of Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East, has received a $484,048 grant from CommonSpirit Health’s Mission and Ministry Fund to expand its “Creating Safer Neighborhoods” program to include youth who are 14-18 years old. The initiative is focused on reducing violence committed by and against youth ages 5 to 18 in Lexington.

“Teenagers have been identified as the most at-risk for violent crimes committed by and against their peers, which is why it’s crucial that we support these young people,” said Leslie Smart, CFRE, president, Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. “Thanks to this funding, we can expand our programming and reach more at-risk youth in our community as we strive to embody the name of our initiative, ‘Creating Safer Neighborhoods.’”

The “Creating Safer Neighborhoods” initiative provides programming in designated centers of the community, encouraging involvement and commitment of youth that live in the area. The program provides opportunities that encourage healthy beliefs, healthy behaviors and healthy choices for and by youth.

The “Creating Safer Neighborhoods initiatives began in 2013 and has helped many youth in the Lexington area. Over the past three years – from 2019-2022 – the initiative has seen a 45% reduction in behavior issues from baseline data and an increase in summer camp participation from 26 youth in 2019 to 536 youth in 2022. It has also been involved with the Lexington Public Library’s Homework Help and Russell Cave Elementary’s ESL program, both of which are now self-sufficient programs.

To learn more about the program, contact Demetria N. Blair, Violence Prevention Manager, Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative, for CHI Saint Joseph Health Healthy Communities, at [email protected]


About CHI Saint Joseph Health

CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.

About Saint Joseph Hospital 

Saint Joseph Hospital is a 433-bed hospital located in Lexington, Kentucky. Established in 1877 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, the facility serves residents of central and eastern Kentucky and is a nationally recognized tertiary medical center. Saint Joseph Hospital is Lexington’s first hospital. The hospital’s original mission was to provide compassionate care to the poor and underserved – a tradition still carried out today.

About Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation

Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation supports CHI Saint Joseph Health’s drive for excellence by inspiring donors to make a tangible difference through their philanthropic investment in outstanding patient care facilities and services, the education of caregivers, advanced clinical research and improved access to quality medical care.


Publish date: 

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Media Contact

Mary Branham, Director, Communications

P: (859) 313-2642

Email: [email protected]