Transformative Journeys: Inspiring Women's Health

2023 Impact Report
The Women's Committee

Transformative Journeys: Inspiring women's Health

In 2023, The Women's Committee raised more than $185,000 for life-saving programs and services helping women fight cancer, support mothers and babies, and promote clinical excellence.  The following are a few highlights of the impacts your support made possible last year:

Advancing Nursing Excellence

"We often see people on the worst days of their life. I love being able to help." Jenna Vitolo, SMJH Emergency Department nurse and scholarship recipient

The Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation annually awards more than $300,000 in community support toward scholarships, awards, and certifications to support nurses and clinical staff. Last year, more than a dozen nurses pursued advanced degrees. Others deepened their expertise by attending national symposiums on end-of-life care and surgical technology. Earn-to-learn programs provided advanced training for clinical staff in sterile instrument processing and other essential skills. Community support also enabled the purchase of educational equipment for the hospital’s simulation lab.

Spring Fly Fling fishing catch 4-rotated-e1712866935368.jpg

2023 marked the 15th anniversary of the Spring Fly Fling, which combines the physical therapy of fly-casting with the emotional healing of community support.  More than 150 women have participated to date, with many faithfully returning as part of the army of volunteers who make the free event possible.  "It's a really powerful experience," recalls TWC member and breast cancer survivor Susan Kreiner.  "Someone would tell a story, and I'd break down while they were talking because I would think "I totally understand that"."

Palliative Care

TWC supports the women in our community who are bearing the burden of caregiving for their loved ones and family members.  In 2023, the SMJH palliative care team supported approximately 1,000 patients; 10% of all patients admitted to the hospital.  Yet only 20% of the costs for this service are billable to insurance.  TWC's support helps to ensure that this essential service remains available for the most vulnerable patients and families in the hospital and the oncology clinic.

Free Breast Health Screening Days

TWC volunteers organize and support three free Breast Health Screening Days annually enabling 200 women to proactively manage their health at no cost.  this $100,000 initiative resulted in 17 women receiving callbacks for additional testing and one patient requiring a biopsy.  Thankfully, no one was diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer Survivorship Programs

From a 12-week program to support cancer survivors to a broad range of long-term clinical monitoring, support groups, nutritional counseling, and exercise classes, survivorship resources help hundreds of people every year manage the challenges of rebuilding their lives after cancer treatment.  In 2023, more than 300 people participated in exercise classes, visited our clinics, and received nutritional counseling.  

Mother-Baby Programs

TWC supports women's health from beginning to end.  More than 1,200 babies are born at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital every year.  New families access neonatal resources and new patient support groups providing a strong network of support to thrive.  In 2023, TWC support provided enough yarn for our army of volunteer knitters to create over 1,100 baby caps and patient shawls.  In 2024, your generosity will help new families transition into parenthood welcomed by the special LOVE swaddle blanket and accompanying LovEntourage App, which offers a private and supportive postpartum community.