Women’s Health Fund Closes CFSEK Grant Season for 2022

We end our grant season for 2022 as the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund (WHF) Giving Circle grant opportunities come to a close this week.

What better time to share some of the benefits to women that have occurred as a result of the WHF?

Rita Bicknell’s lasting impact

Rita Bicknell had an impact on healthcare in Southeast Kansas. She had a particular passion for women’s health. Even though we lost Rita in 2020, her legacy for improving health, particularly for women, continues.

Volunteer Christy Graham, Ed.D., holds components of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States' new NICU Mother's Nursing Kits funded by the Women's Health Fund.
Volunteer Christy Graham, Ed.D., holds components of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States’ new NICU Mother’s Nursing Kits funded by the Women’s Health Fund.

The Women’s Health Fund was established by Rita through the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) in 2007. Two giving circles were created, awarding competitive grant funds annually. Those giving circles, the Women’s Giving Circle and the Circle of Friends Giving Circle, are currently accepting proposals through September 30 for grant funding that support the mission of the WHF “to improve the health and well-being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women.”

Over the years, the WHF has awarded funds totaling nearly $350,000 toward women’s health through nonprofits in SEK. A complete list of WHF Giving Circle grant awards can be found by visiting our Women’s Health Fund grants page. The 2022 grant fund awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

The future of women’s health

In addition to competitive grant awards, the Nightingale Endowment of the WHF has been established as a memorial to Rita and supports the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing Simulation Hospital at Pittsburg State University. This fund will support the purchase of technology components aimed at enhancing teaching opportunities for students.

You can learn more about the Nursing Simulation Hospital in the Gorilla Connection.

A donation can be made to the Nightingale Endowment of the WHF, the WHF Endowment, or either giving circle on the CFSEK donate page under Health & Wellness.

We all look forward to better healthcare for the women of Southeast Kansas.

An Ascension Via Christi staff member demonstrates the new hysteroscopy equipment purchased with the help of a Women's Health Fund grant.
A 2021 Women’s Health Fund grant helped fund the purchase of new hysteroscopy equipment by the Mount Carmel Foundation.