Members of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) began 2017 with a sense of celebration: As of Dec. 30, 2016, this committed and energetic group had successfully raised $500,000 to sponsor the Family Waiting Area in the brand-new Joseph C. Corkery, MD, Emergency Center. Impressively, the WLC members had met their pledged philanthropic goal a full two years ahead of schedule. And it is just one accomplishment in a string of many that this small band of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center devotees has achieved since the council’s founding in 2004.
The council has a three-pronged mission of education, community outreach and philanthropy, said Cofounder Cindy Gruber. “When you realize that 80 percent of health care decisions are made by women on behalf of their families, then it is completely understandable that women would be drawn to learning about health,” she said. “The WLC is passionate about spreading knowledge in the community. We feel privileged to have a medical center like LHMC so close by, and we are proud to support it.”
The WLC has evolved over the years, expanding its lecture series and fundraising events while staying true to its mission. Thanks to the council, new investments in breast care, nursing and more have offered meaningful enhancements to patient care year after year.
With their established history of making an impact, the WLC was eager to spearhead support for the new Corkery Emergency Center. Several of the members immediately saw the potential advantages of a waiting area designated for families. “We felt a family waiting area would be a valuable gift to the community, providing comfort at a stressful time,” said Randi Conley, WLC Co-chair. “Working with Lahey’s Facilities Management, we were sure to include family-centered features, such as a children’s corner, charging stations for phones and tech devices, and a unique wall quilt, sewn by area quilters and WLC members.”
The WLC targeted their energies and resources — organizing their now-famous Ladies’ Night Out fundraisers and making generous gifts themselves. Many of the members are longtime local residents and active leaders in business and civic arenas. Many are also “family” to LHMC, with spouses who are colleagues in this physician-led institution. Some are LHMC providers themselves. Together, they weave a unique and vibrant fabric supporting the hospital.
Currently, the WLC has 30 members, with more committed volunteers joining all the time. “This is a warm and welcoming group, dedicated to supporting women as advocates for their own health and that of their families. These are women who care and give; they are professional, passionate and kind. Who wouldn’t want to get involved?” asked Co-chair Kathy Huber. Women may attend educational lectures and volunteer on committees. As Lahey Health CEO Howard Grant, JD, MD, noted, “The guidance, knowledge and philanthropic commitment of the Women’s Leadership Council are mission critical to our hospital.”
For information about becoming involved with the Women’s Leadership Council, please contact Allyson Ramsey at 781.744.9667.
Learn more about the WLC.
View photos from the 2017 Ladies’ Night Out, which raised more than $50,000 for the Corkery Emergency Center.