On Wednesday, Feb. 3, Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) will host the fifth annual Women with Heart Luncheon. Traditionally held at the Florida Blue Conference Center, the 2021 event will be hosted virtually using an innovative, exciting online platform.
Eight women will be honored at the luncheon. The 2021 honorees are:
■ Lakesha Burton, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
■ Catherine Christie, University of North Florida
■ Sadie Durham, Ascension St. Vincent’s
■ Dianne Johnson, MBB Radiology
■ Sherry Mahoney, The Mayo Clinic
■ Patricia McElroy, Baptist Health
■ Amy Ruth, Florida Blue
■ Karen Wolfson, dedicated children’s advocate and retired educator
Women with Heart honorees are chosen because they are committed to leadership, advocacy and the health of our community.
“These women have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the health of the community through their professional and personal engagement and accomplishments,” said VIM Board Chair Ann Carey.
The luncheon kicks off a year-long awareness and fundraising campaign. Each honoree has committed to a month of advocacy and service to the clinic. This year’s luncheon features a drawing for the 2020 “Heart of Jacksonville” necklace, donated by Allen’s Jewelers and valued at $10,000. Tickets can be purchased for $100; only 150 tickets will be sold.
“These women are community leaders, advocates and key influencers,” VIM CEO Jennifer Ryan said. “Their dedication to the health and well-being of the community is vital in making real change.”
This year, Florida Blue is the Women With Heart Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors include:
■ Honor sponsors: Baptist Health, Dottie and Dr. George H. Dorion, Dr. Jim and Mary Burt and Helen Morse and Fritz Skeen.
■ Hero sponsors: Brooks Rehabilitiation, Firehouse Subs, Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, Regions Bank and Trust.
■ Table sponsors: Ascension St. Vincent’s, Catherine Christie, Forcura, Jan Healy, MBB Radiology, Sherry Mahoney, UF Health Jacksonville, University of North Florida and Vystar Credit Union.
There are still opportunities for more sponsors to take part. These sponsors are helping to ensure that those who do not earn enough to meet their basic needs, the Asset Limited, Income Constrained Employed, or ALICE, population, have access to healthcare. This is especially the case for women, who make up 69% of VIM’s patients. Roughly three out of every four households headed by single women live below the ALICE threshold.
By supporting VIM through the Women with Heart Luncheon, the ALICE population is given a medical home. This is opposed to making trip after trip to emergency rooms, a resource proven to be finite over the past year. The consequences of illnesses going undetected and unmanaged have been revealed as well; chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension quickly go from debilitating to deadly. Through funding the clinic, the impact of Women with Heart will be felt by many in the community.
Anyone who wants to view the event will be able to access it live via Facebook and YouTube. For more information, go to www.VIM-JAX.org. Limited tables and tickets for the luncheon are available. Call (904) 399-2766 or go to VIM-JAX.org/become-wwh-sponsor/ for sponsorship and ticket information.