WISH awards inaugural grants for more than $52K

SHEPHERDSTOWN - WISH, a women's giving circle sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, awarded its two inaugural grants totaling $52,500 collectively to community nonprofit Panhandle Home Health Inc.'s Advanced Wound Care Initiative and to Shepherd University's learning project Seeding Your Future Initiative on Aug. 23, at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown.

Nonprofit winner Advanced Wound Care Initiative, sponsored by Panhandle Home Health Inc., seeks to address the need for wound-care certification in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties. In 2013, wound care was provided to 346 patients with a total of 733 wounds, and in 2014 this number doubled. The WISH grant will provide training to six nurses in 2015 and 2016, thus helping meet the goal of decreasing suffering of all patients with wounds, speeding recovery time, and decreasing the need for re-hospitalization.

"We at Panhandle Home Health are deeply honored and truly humbled to be named the winner of the WISH grant," said Lisa Bivens, executive director. "This advanced training provides wound management expertise right at the bedside to a vulnerable patient population with multiple diseases or conditions which compromise wound healing. These patients may not otherwise have access to such an advanced level of care, and it will be provided in the comfort of home."

Shepherd University's learning project winner Seeding Your Future Initiative will address the challenge of engaging middle and high school-age students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The initiative consists of two parts: the Seeding Your Future conference and the Seeding Your Future workshop series. The WISH grant will allow the program to expand the number of students reached, thus increasing the potential to spark interest in the STEM fields and inspire the next generation of STEM graduates.

"Receiving the WISH grant allows us to grow the great start to our Seeding Your Future Initiative," said Dr. Jordan Mader, project co-coordinator and assistant professor of chemistry at Shepherd University. "The support from WISH will allow us to expand the conference by 25 participants per year. It will enable us to accommodate more participants and have a greater impact on the communities in the Eastern Panhandle and surrounding region."

WISH is a women's giving circle created by Women for Shepherd University and sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation. WISH inspires, educates, and develops the potential of women's philanthropy through high-impact grant-making. Members pool their $500 annual contribution, which is then divided between the two grant entities. A one woman, one vote process determines the grant recipients in each category. Membership for 2015 is being accepted until Dec. 31.

To learn more about becoming a member of WISH or about the organization, visit shepherduniversityfoundation.org/get-involved/women-for-su/women-investing-in-shepherd/, or call Meg Peterson at 304-876-5021 or email mpeterso@shepherd.edu.

Photo Credit: Panhandle Home Health, Inc. Executive Director Lisa Bivens, left, and Director of Development Christina Johnson receive the WISH nonprofit grant from Grants Committee Vice-Chair Carol Kable, right.

Article published in the Journal, September 7, 2015

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