Rita J. Bicknell Women's Health Fund

Circle of Friends

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The Rita J Bicknell Women's Health Endowed Fund is made up of two giving circles, the Women's Giving Circle (WGC) and the Circle of Friends (COF).  Each year members of the Women's Giving Circle review grant applications and approve funds for programs fulfilling the Fund’s mission. Since 2007, the WGC has contributed more than $227,000  to fund grants for women's health. Additional information on this endowed fund is available to potential members by contacting the Foundation office: 620.231.8897.

Members of the Women’s Giving Circle invited others to join them in creating the Rita J Bicknell Circle of Friends Giving Circle. The two giving circles share a common mission statement 'To improve the health and well-being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women.' COF members also meet to review grant applications and approve funds for programs fulfilling the mission annually. To date, the COF membership has supported women's health by contributing more than $29,000 since 2013.

Applications for the 2020 Women's Health Fund grant cycle were due by May 15, 2020. If you have any questions or would like additional information about Women's Health Fund grants, contact us or email Program Coordinator Sherri Stephens.

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2019

Angels Among Us – ‘Financial Needs of Cancer Patients’ is a long provided service by Angels in the southeast Kansas region for prescription assistance, gas for treatment and appointments, utility assistance, equipment, to name a few.

Fostering Connections – ‘Healthy Family Bonds’ will provide mental health services to foster parents and other family members for increased family bondig.

Southeast Kansas Special Education Interlocal 637 – ‘Adapted Physical Education’ will provide adapted physical education equipment to be used by 3 special education programs at Pittsburg High School for more inclusive and frequent physical education services.

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2018

Crawford County Health Department: The Lactation Station, which is sponsored by the Southeast Kansas Regional Breastfeeding Coalition, will provide space for breastfeeding families to nurse or express breastmilk at public events in area communities. 

Southeast Kansas Special Education Interlocal 637: Healthy Relationships project will purchase two sets of the CIRCLES Intimacy and Relationships Curriculum for instructional use with students with autism and developmental delays at the middle and high school level. 

Women’s Resource Center SEK: Educational Curriculum Upgrades: Supporting Women’s Health and Emotional Education will upgrade the center’s parenting, parenting toddlers, and special circumstance curriculum. 

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2017

Pittsburg Mother to Mother Ministry: Love & Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun will purchase a curriculum to teach Love & Logic and additional lending library resources. 

Women’s Resource Center of SEK: Educational Curriculum for Mothers’ Physical & Emotional Health to improve and increase resources for the Earn While You Learn program.

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2016

Hannah’s Promise Pregnancy Life Center: Improving Life and Empowering Women will use the grant funding for daily operations to assist homeless women to break the cycle of poverty and abuse.    

Interlocal 637-PHS Low Incidence Program: The ‘We Belong’ project will purchase a stackable washer /dryer to be installed at PHS so all 246 ‘at risk’ female students can have the opportunity for improved personal hygiene and cleanliness.   

Mount Carmel Foundation: Co-Pay Assistance will help breast cancer patients afford oral chemotherapies.

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2015

Interlocal #637- PCMS: Purchase 3 three wheeled bicycles, safety helmets and bicycle locks for physical fitness initiative  

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes: Elizabeth Polk: “A Time to Dance” exhibit at the Lowell Milken Center  

Mount Carmel Foundation: Ready for Recovery: Cancer Treatment Planners  

PSU Enactus: Community Employment Program 

Women’s Resource Center of SEK: Rapid testing equipment for Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis     

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2014

Hannahs Promise Pregnancy Life Center Inc:  Provide curriculum for the Earn While You Learn Parenting Program  

Southeast Kansas Interlocal #637:  Purchase educational DVD’s for young girls and teen-age girls on self care and self care training; purchase instruments such as blood pressure cuffs and thermometer to promote health  

Women’s Resource Center of Southeast Kansas:  Purchase one Mobile Electronic Tablet and Keyboard to provide interactive education on pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections/diseases  

Circle of Friends Grant Recipients 2013

Elm Acres: grant to update Wii gaming system. 

Lowell Milken Center: Unsung Heroes in Women’s Health History.  There will be an exhibit developed with the funds focusing on History of women’s health and its leaders.  There is a collaborative effort with Mercy Hospital in Ft Scott and how underserved women’s health is.  We will ask to know when the exhibit is ready so you can visit the center. 

Enactus/PSU formerly SIFE:   This is part of their Building Southeast Kansas; Planting Seeds of Change. The grant will help fund monthly employment workshops for women living at Renewal House and others referred by local service agencies. At these workshops women learn interviewing skills, computer skills, job application assistance and transportation costs are covered.  The grant will also help in purchasing appropriate clothing from resale shops,  and Wal-Mart  to wear when interviewing.

Ronald McDonald House: Funds will purchase books for the two Women’s Resource Libraries, one in each wing of the building.  These libraries will make resources readily available to mother’s during their stay to help cope with the physical and emotional strain they encounter during the postpartum period with a seriously ill child.  There is an exit survey sent to each family and a question about the library and its usefulness will be added so they can track the effectiveness and success of the program.

Family Resource Center: In a collaborative effort the Family Resource Center and the Community Health Center is providing women’s wellness screenings and nutrition/weight counseling for the women at the Family Resource Center. The project is for seven months bringing preventative services to the staff.

Labette Health: The grant will purchase a nursing chair for the private room dedicated to the lactation program.   The State of Kansas has adopted guidelines for the formation and support of lactation programs in the work place. A private small room at the  hospital will provide an area for lactating moms who are employed at the hospital and others to use.  The grant will also purchase educational dvds and materials to be available in the room.    This is a third phase of  the breast feeding program that the Women’s Giving Circle has aided in the past with the purchase of breast pumps used by new Moms

As the giving circle grows, so does its impact for the good of women when new members are added. Contact the Foundation office, 620 231 8897 to learn more.

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