Women Who CARE has its roots in the Women’s Giving Circle established by the Fort Memorial Hospital Foundation in 2004. A group of area women gathered for lunch once a quarter for information and inspiration about their health and well-being. Member contributions were gathered to fund various services at Fort HealthCare. A wide variety of projects were included over the years including hospital equipment, new health and wellness services, and scholarships.
In 2014, a group of members had an idea to expand the way the group functioned. Their idea was to engage the membership to determine ways in which the group could make a measurable impact on the health and well-being of people in our area. From that beginning, a Leadership Committee was formed and the group set out to identify opportunities for service.
In the spring of 2015, the membership voted to focus on the health of youth in our area for its first project as Women Who CARE. At the same time, the Whitewater Unified School District was seeking assistance for students who needed behavioral health services. Women Who CARE decided to fund a pilot project to have a counselor available in the school serving students whose behavioral health needs were disruptive to education in the classroom.
That pilot project bloomed into the program that currently serves the Whitewater, Jefferson, and Fort Atkinson schools. Because of the leadership of Women Who CARE, this program is having an impact to help students overcome the effects of stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma that impedes their ability to participate in classroom activities.
Women Who CARE has grown due to the success of the School-Based Behavioral Health Counseling program and news ways of engaging members and the community. The group holds two luncheons and two social events each year to strengthen relationships among members through fun activities and education about health-related issues facing our communities.