WISH gives more than $50,000 to 15 community health programs

Dec 13, 2019 | Member News

Funding will support various programs to improve lives in northern Colorado – from special equipment to help patients with diabetes and dementia to child car seats and suicide prevention

 A circle of nearly 100 women in northern Colorado is aiming to make a difference in the new year by coming together to support 15 health programs at UCHealth.

Women Investing in Strategies for Health (WISH) is a women’s giving circle affiliated with UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation. WISH members pool their funds and learn about the health needs in northern Colorado. Then the group collectively decides how their money will support local programs, projects and services provided to women, children and families through UCHealth and its partners.

For its 2020 grants, the group recently announced grants totaling $50,890 given to 15 health-related programs.

In seven years, WISH has granted more than $367,000 to 98 programs, projects and services provided by UCHealth, including services provided in partnership with community organizations.

“One woman giving $500 to a cause is good. But many women giving together is more than good, it’s awe-inspiring,” said Erica Siemers, regional executive director of the foundation. “This is impact multiplied.”

The 15 programs receiving grant funding in 2020 are:

Greeley Hospital Birthing Center – Loaner Breast Pumps: Provide breast pump rental vouchers for new mothers who need financial assistance.

Community Health Improvement – Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Pilot the use of continuous glucose monitors for a group of Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative clients. The monitors will provide real-time blood sugar readings in an effort to avoid health issues that would result in a hospital visit or admission.

Poudre Valley Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation – Memory Notebooks: Provide memory notebooks to patients who have cognitive and memory impairments. The memory notebook system is a tool to aid in functional recall to improve memory for daily events, health information and patient and therapy goals.

Poudre Valley Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation – Aphasia Choir: Create a community choir designed for people who have non-fluent aphasia — a neurological condition caused by stroke or other damage to the portions of the brain responsible for language. The choir will be facilitated by a board-certified music therapist trained in Neurologic Music Therapy.

Community Health Improvement – Suicide Prevention & Awareness: Support a comprehensive program that incorporates art, speakers and community resources to help remove the stigma of mental health issues, improve coping skills and raise awareness.

Medical Center of the Rockies Women & Children’s Care – Special Care Nursery Recliners: Purchase three new recliners to provide comfortable seating for new mothers and their families in the special care nursery. The special care nursery is where pre-term infants, as well as unexpectedly sick infants, receive intensive care after delivery.

Poudre Valley Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation – Frenzel Goggles: Purchase Frenzel goggles, a tool for accurately and quickly diagnosing patients who have inner-ear problems and are experiencing nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Oncology Service Line – Genetic Counseling Support: Provide oncology genetic counseling to patients who are uninsured/underinsured. Oncology genetic counseling identifies individuals who are at increased risk for cancer, so that they can be proactive in their cancer screening or undergo interventions to prevent cancer.

Poudre Valley Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation – Lift Scale for Body Weight Support Treadmill Training (BWSTT): Purchase a scale that will allow for better accuracy in BWSTT. BWSTT is a standard treatment for stroke survivors to regain the ability to walk, enabling gradual unweighting over the course of treatment.

Healthy Hearts – Middle School Program Enhancements:Purchase equipment to enhance middle school students’ learning: CPR manikins that are age-appropriate and can withstand use by high-energy middle school participants; iPads to provide interactive nutrition, heart anatomy, and vaping education.

Dementia-Friendly Communities – Helping People Live Well With Dementia: Support outreach education events to help make life-changing differences for people living with dementia.

Community Health Improvement – Car Seat Program: Provide car seats for families that cannot afford to purchase them and provide car seat safety education.

Fort Collins Family Medicine Center (FMC) – Adolescent Health Initiative: Provide iPads for FMC adolescent patients to use to complete confidential, electronic risk-screening questionnaires. Research indicates that teenagers respond more honestly when using electronic screening tools rather than paper and pen.

UCHealth Northern Region – Hearing Loops: Procure and install hearing loops at PVH and MCR main desks, pharmacies and emergency rooms. In busy hospital settings, hearing aids are not fully effective, because background noise interferes with listening and understanding. Hearing loops provide intelligible, distortion-free speech in these types of environments.

Women & Children’s Care – 3Hopeful Hearts Counseling: Provide counseling vouchers for bereaved parents and families.

Anyone interested in supporting UCHealth programs and services through WISH grants can become a WISH member. For more information about how to join or sponsor, go to uchealthnocofoundation.org/wish.


About WISH

Women Investing in Strategies for Health (WISH), a women’s giving circle, fosters active involvement in the health of our community. Members pool their funds, learn about the health needs in northern Colorado and collectively decide how their money will support local programs, projects and services provided to women, children and families through UCHealth and its partners. The annual $500 membership is tax deductible, and 100% of member contributions go toward WISH grants, thanks to the administrative support provided by UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation. Through WISH, members give more strategically and are more knowledgeable about health-based issues.


About UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation

The mission of UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation is to support its affiliated hospitals and clinics in the delivery and advancement of world-class health care in northern Colorado. The foundation realizes its mission through the development and stewardship of philanthropic resources in support of the hospitals’ mission and strategic goals.


About UCHealth

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. In northern Colorado, this includes Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins. Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont and Greeley Hospital. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth is dedicated to providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. With more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.







A past WISH grant enabled the purchase of yarn, knitting needles and other supplies for Knitted Knockers volunteers to create hundreds of breast prostheses for breast cancer survivors. These handcrafted pieces are soft, breathable, and lightweight in comparison to traditional breast prostheses and are provided free to women who want them. Photo courtesy of UCHealth.