Page 1

ISSUE 4 / 2017


A Focus On Health



Health for All & All for Health Stories of Impact Who Inspires Us

Perspectives: Susan’s Musings

Photo by Anthony Tran

Bobby Ellis died Thanksgiving Eve 1969 at age 9 from malnutrition — right here in Louisville. (You can read how his tragedy led to the founding of Dare to Care on page 11.) I think about Bobby a lot because he and I would be the same age. But our lives were so very different. On Thanksgiving 1969, my entire family — as many as 40 of us — gathered at my Aunt Tina and Uncle Bob’s house as we did every year. We ate all day, and then ate some more. I wonder now, how did I end up with so much food, but Bobby died because he had so little? I’ve always taken my health and wellbeing for granted. I never once heard my parents talk about making a choice between our health care and paying the mortgage, buying gas for the car or putting food on the table. The truth is, I have never gone without health insurance and, more importantly, I have never truly worried about my health. That does not mean I don’t think about what it means to be without good health and good care.

When I compare my life experience with Bobby Ellis and others like him, I focus almost entirely on equity. What does it mean to have good health for all people? Should I have better health because of where I live or the job I have? Are we satisfied that the determinants of good health are often linked to who you are or the resources you have? Everyone deserves a fair chance, a full chance to be healthy. That’s why the Community Foundation established the Health Equity Fund at the close of 2016. Louisville was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a community where health matters — where people and organizations are working to create a more level playing field and better health outcomes for all. The Health Equity Fund is a statement of resolve – we are sticking to it and sticking with it. I feel a sense of urgency – you may, too, as you read the accounts in this issue. I was touched by Hannah Drake’s story (page 5). Where we live matters. I’m inspired by Wendy Novak (page 12), who has battled type 1 diabetes since she was a child and now works to provide resources and education that will make day-today life easier for kids living with the disease. Whether it is diabetes, asthma, air quality, exposure to violence, food insecurity, educational attainment, even your ZIP Code, all the challenges facing us add up. For all those like Bobby who can no longer speak for themselves, I stand up for equity. I stand up for you. Good health for all.

SUSAN A. BARRY, JD President & CEO Community Foundation of Louisville

EDITOR Cara Baribeau

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Liz Alkire Cara Baribeau Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tori Murden McClure Molly Melia Carter Ruml Courtney Kinney Woeste

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS O’Neil Arnold Michael Hayman Norton Children’s Hospital Anthony Tran Tyrone Turner - Courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Leigh Wilcoxson Photography Chris Witzke


DESIGN Joe Weber, Bisig Impact Group

PUBLISHER Community Foundation of Louisville

ForGood is a publication of the Community Foundation of Louisville. At the Community Foundation, we are a force for good and invite others to engage in creating a community where people and place thrive. We are committed to promoting the understanding and participation in philanthropy in all of its different shapes and forms. This publication is an expression of that commitment that we hope helps to inform, inspire and create a community of thoughtful citizens dedicated to improving the world around them. Visit to learn more.

Contents /

ISSUE 4 / 2017



ON THE COVER Wendy Novak & Ashley Novak Butler


P. 4

HEALTH FOR ALL AND ALL FOR HEALTH Working collaboratively to pursue a vision of health equity. ©

2016 Tyrone Turner. Courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

P. 8


STORIES OF IMPACT Impact beyond the 24-hours of giving.

P. 16

WHO INSPIRES US The unstoppable Christy Brown.


Photo by Chris Witzke

Photos by O’Neil Arnold



worth knowing

We know that things like obesity, diabetes or a diet high in salt and fat can contribute to poor health. But what about violence? According to the Prevention Institute, an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control, violence extols a burden on individuals and communities in ways both seen and unseen. Individuals exposed to violence have higher rates of chronic disease, including heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, poor mental health and substance abuse. Communities impacted by violence see reduced investments in parks and recreation facilities that promote healthy activity, worsening the effect on resident’s health. That’s why innovative approaches to tackling this public health crisis are crucial for our community. While violence and its impacts come in many forms, here are two nonprofit organizations in Louisville that are working to prevent and reduce the effects of violent crimes on individuals and our community. Peace Education Program (Peace Ed) For 35 years, Peace Ed has strengthened communities and


many of whom have experienced street violence themselves, to connect victims with counseling, education, gang diversion programs, substance abuse treatment and social services.

schools by training youth and adults in mediation and conflict resolution. These skills help individuals better manage conflict, build positive relationships, reduce violence and foster mutual respect. Since its founding, Peace Ed has trained over 140,000 youth and adults to resolve conflicts peacefully. In spring 2016, Peace Ed became home to Pivot to Peace, an evidencebased approach to helping hospitalized victims of stabbings and gunshot injuries to identify and address life factors that put them at risk for violence and make a change. The program employs caseworkers,

Restorative Justice Louisville Restorative Justice Louisville focuses on the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders through a process that offers a chance for reconciliation with victims and the community. Restorative practices seek to divert the offender from the juvenile justice system, provide victims and community members an active voice in the resolution of the case, and hold the offender accountable while identifying and addressing the underlying factors of problematic behavior to reduce recidivism. This alternate, holistic approach to justice breaks the cycle of violence and incarceration that dominates many communities. Since its founding in 2011, 400 cases have been referred by the juvenile justice system to Restorative Justice Louisville, resulting in significant cost savings and successful reintegration of young offenders back into the community.

Violence affects our community in many ways, impacting the lives and health of victims and offenders. Agencies like those mentioned above work hard to address this very complex issue. From training in conflict resolution and mediation to helping victims of violence find a satisfying resolution and offering youth offenders an alternative to the criminal justice system, these organizations work to make our community a safer, more peaceful place. Your small, unrestricted gift can make a big impact. PE AC E E DUCATION


$100 provides a full scholarship for two young people to attend a 4-day PeaceCasters / Teen Leaders for Diversity Camp where they will create videos about peacemakers in our community who are helping to create a better world.


$300 funds the work of a four-person Pivot to Peace team of de-escalators, who provide conflict resolution skills to families in the ER at University Hospital after a high-conflict shooting or stabbing.


ForGo o d / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

$100 provides for the training of one new volunteer restorative justice facilitator who will conduct interviews with victims and offenders and assist communication between the participants during the restorative justice process.

$300 provides for the case management of each referred case. In this important process the victim takes an active role and offenders take meaningful responsibility for their actions, seeking to right their wrongs and redeem themselves.

Learn more at and


I Believe


Demons and Dust have demons. So what? People who have no demons are like people who have no sense of humor. They are dull. I am highly educated. So I feel no shame in telling teenagers that I rowed a boat alone across the Atlantic Ocean because I was stupid. Most women do not need to row three thousand miles to figure out that love and friendship are good things. Most women just get it. My personal demon is a sense of helplessness. I have a brother, Lamar. He is intellectually disabled. When we were young, our family moved every three or four years. New kids on any block are always tested, often teased, and sometimes hazed. Lamar and I were accustomed to all three. I always tried to protect my brother, but I was not always successful. When I was about twelve, Lamar and I were getting to know and be known at a new playground. I was playing basketball. Lamar was standing in his usual place at the edge of the action. A boy picked up a rock and threw it at my brother. As the boy reached out to pick up a second rock, I tackled him. I disappeared into a swirl of fists and feet. Strong hands pulled me off the boy and hauled him away for questioning. The judge and jury that afternoon was a boy named Eric Fee. Like me, Eric would have been about twelve years old. Lamar and I were accustomed to finding ourselves at the center of neighborhood controversies. They never turned out well for us. I had read about “justice,” but I had never seen it in action. Then, something inexplicable happened. Eric Fee hauled the rock-throwing boy over to Lamar and made him apologize. I could hardly believe my ears. Once


the apology was complete, Eric called all the children on the playground into a circle. Eric explained that my brother could not defend himself. He declared that Lamar was to be left alone. If anyone taunted or teased Lamar, Eric promised that he would settle the score. Someone asked about me. Eric glanced in my direction and said, “I think she can take care of herself.” By his actions, a twelve-year-old boy created peace and justice out of thin air, and I watched compassion finish ahead of competition. I went out and followed Eric’s example, as much as I could and as often as I could. With each passing year, I grew wiser, more competent, and more powerful, but no matter how hard I tried I could not make justice perfect. I could not make it reliable. Time after time, I found myself jousting with injustices that were too big for me to tackle. Each time the helplessness wore me down, I settled for doing something easy like climbing a tall mountain, skiing across a frozen continent, or rowing a boat alone across an ocean. Eventually, I came to understand that I could bicycle to the moon, but it would not make me any less human. We are each of us an amalgam of dust and divinity. The dust is essential. It is our brokenness, our helplessness that make us human. I believe that love and friendship are the things that make our humanity bearable. Each of us is mortal, and, like Eric Fee, each of us is capable of being heroic. We need not accept realities that are not in tune with our hearts. We may not succeed in stealing fire from heaven, but the majesty of humanity lies in our willingness to keep trying.

“EACH OF US IS CAPABLE OF BEING HEROIC.” Tori Murden McClure is the President of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Smith College, Harvard University, the University of Louisville, and Spalding University. Ms. McClure skied 750 miles across Antarctica to geographic South Pole, and she was the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her book is titled A Pearl in the Storm. “Demons and Dust,” Copyright ©2013 by Tori Murden McClure. From the book This I Believe: Kentucky, edited by Dan Gediman and Mary Jo Gediman, Copyright ©2013 by This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / For Good






2 0 16 T Y R O N E T U R N E R , C O U R T E S Y O F T H E R O B E R T W O O D J O H N S O N F O U N D A T I O N

ow do we make health accessible to all? Building on our strengths, tackling systemic challenges, and collaborating across sectors are just a few of the things Louisville is doing that resulted in our community being recognized as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner. It’s about our community working towards a shared goal and demonstrating the commitment necessary to create lasting change for others. While it is a celebration of the work that has been done, it’s not about being at the finish line. It is about having a strong base on which to build and the determination and partners to get there.


ForGo o d / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

When poet Hannah Drake drives through her Smoketown neighborhood and past the little white house where her father was born and raised, a discussion of health disparities feels real and personal. His death, caused by congestive heart failure at age 64, fits a pattern for people in this historically black section of Louisville. They live, on average, nine years less than residents of many of the city’s other neighborhoods and have higher rates of drug and alcohol use, diabetes, heart disease, HIV-AIDS and death from homicide. Poverty, racism and unemployment weigh heavy, and transportation options and healthy foods are elusive because of institutional policies that have widened the gap between rich and poor, black and white.

Louisville’s civic leaders and health institutions recognize that in the face of generations-deep disparities, proximity to health care services is only part of the story. According to Dr. Brandy Kelly Pryor, Director of the Center for Health Equity at the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, “Good health for all citizens requires so much more—such as having a job, a safe place to live, work and play, a place to buy healthy, affordable food, a good education in which your identity is valued, clean air to breathe and a strong social network. Good health for all citizens means we support policies and practices to ensure equitable outcomes in all our social, economic, and environmental conditions.” The city’s efforts to right historical

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CULTURE OF HEALTH PRIZE COMMUNITY? To become an RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner, Louisville demonstrated how it excelled in the following six criteria over a 12-month evaluation process: • Defining health in the broadest possible terms. • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policyoriented long-term solutions. • Cultivating a shared and deeply-held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health. • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners and community members. • Securing and making the most of available resources. • Measuring and sharing progress and results.

Learn more at

Mayor Greg Fischer collaborating with Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, Yvette Gentry and Brandyn Bailey.

Drake knew none of the bleak statistics about her neighborhood until she began working with Louisville-based artist innovation company IDEAS xLab after her father’s passing. “It all kind of made sense when I thought about my family,” she said. Four weeks after her father died, a stroke took his twin brother. Cancer later claimed two of her aunts. Until their deaths, all four of Drake’s family members had lived just a few blocks from a swath of buildings that house the highest concentration of hospitals and doctors’ offices in the state.

wrongs and combat the conditions too familiar to Drake’s family, and so many others, led to Louisville’s recognition by the world’s largest foundation focused on health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Culture of Health Prize winner. Among the things that distinguish Louisville’s expansive efforts is the way the city’s arts, business, health, education, law enforcement and social service sectors are coming together to tackle this challenge. They’ve turned statistics and data into tools to rectify health inequity, respond to neighborhood violence, and make 2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / For Good


Community youth work in the garden as part of the YouthBuild Louisville program.

the city’s impressive health resources available to everyone. “We must address the interconnectedness of poverty, incarceration, education, jobs, income and social connectivity in tackling this complex challenge that not only affects our most vulnerable neighbors, but has a ripple effect on the entire community,” said Attica Scott, Community Coach, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. “Our RWJF Culture of Health Prize community partners are implementing policy, systems and environmental changes that raise the tide for the entire community.”

TACKLING CHALLENGES HEAD ON Marine veteran Doug R. is proud of how he is leading his life after serving our country in the Philippines and South Pacific. Doug owns a small home repair business that keeps him very busy. He is a hard worker, a loyal friend, and a loving son, father and grandfather.


ForGo o d / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

Life was not always like this for Doug. If it were not for the services provided by Volunteers of America Mid-States, Doug’s story could be completely different. When Doug enlisted at the age of 19, he had hoped to escape the years of exposure to drug and alcohol abuse in his childhood home. During his free time while on active duty, Doug began drinking with his fellow Marines. He quickly learned this only temporarily washed away his troubles. By the time Doug returned to civilian life, he was a high-functioning addict. He earned his associate’s degree and held professional positions such as a marketing director at a local magazine. Eventually, he could no longer manage or hide his addiction. His teenage children would go running when they saw him come to the door. He lost his job. He lost his home and found himself living on the streets. Addicted, homeless and alone is a story often heard at Volunteers of America Mid-States. VOA is on

the frontlines, focused on addiction recovery, homeless families, veterans, people with disabilities, pregnant women, people living with HIV and low-income seniors. “Working to fight the scourge of addiction in our community and to serve the marginalized is what we focus on every day,” said Jennifer Hancock, President/CEO of Volunteers of America – Mid-States. “Whether it is someone like Doug who can now say they are living a life of hope, or one of the dozens of pregnant and addicted moms whose lives we’re turning around, or the homeless family without access to services, we are linking arms with the community to create the positive change that needs to happen.”


Young people at YouthBuild Louisville do their daily chores, picking weeds in the garden and courtyard of their LEED-certified green campus—just one beat in the rhythm of this 16-year-old vocational

training, education and community service program. “It’s part of the garden,” said YouthBuild graduate and now intern Brittany Carson, 25, of the need to weed. “You gotta do it every day.” Based on a national model with the dual mission of training young people in construction and building affordable housing, Louisville’s YouthBuild teaches participants not only what they have to do, but also what they can do. Not just for themselves, but also for their city and neighborhoods. Program participants, many of whom are young parents, earn high school diplomas and acquire the skills to work in one of four career tracks: construction, environmental design, nursing assistant and culinary arts. What’s more, they learn valuable skills — such as showing up on time, being a team player and solving problems— that translate to any field. “We’re making the connection between service, urban design, environmental issues and public health issues,” Project Manager Josh Poe said. During her time with the organization, Carson has worked on low-income housing construction, planted 40 trees around Louisville to bring shade to the city’s “heat islands,” helped build a playhouse for a blind child, and this summer she traveled to France’s Potager du Roi, or King’s Kitchen Garden, near Versailles. There she learned urban gardening techniques and other wisdom that seem to apply equally to plant life and to the budding young adults being nurtured at YouthBuild, such as harvesting every day so the plant can continue to grow. “It’s really important to us, when we choose a young person for the program, that we take them on for the long haul,” said Executive Director Lynn Rippy. “That means we prepare them educationally, we prepare them vocationally, and we prepare them socially to be really active members of this community and advocates for themselves and their children.”

Certain populations in our community are more deeply affected by health disparities. Beyond lack of access to health care services, good health for all citizens requires a safe place to live and walk, a job, a place to buy healthy food, a good education, clean air to breathe and strong social networks.

Foundation was a proud lead partner, is both an honor and an opportunity. It is recognition of the varied work being done across our community to chip away at inequities and create the conditions that will enable our citizens to thrive. But most importantly, it is a moment we can seize upon to propel us to achieve our vision of Health for All. Knowing that a strong coalition of partners is essential for the hard work that lies ahead, the Foundation has established the Health Equity Fund to further support this process. Started with the $25,000 prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the fund currently stands at $100,000 thanks to commitments from the

Community Foundation and Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. It is the goal to grow it to $250,000 to create a meaningful resource for those committed to our shared vision of health equity. Funds will address our community’s greatest disparities through evidenced-based programs administered by grassroots individuals and organizations, measurably improving health for our citizens most in need. Progress takes time and resources. However, with strong trust, respect, experience and shared goals of partners paired with the resources of the Culture of Health Prize network and local financial support, we are linking arms as we strive toward a finish line of Health for All.


Recognition bestowed by the Culture of Health Prize, an application process in which the Community

Cynthia Bethel-Jaiteh with her son, Khalil Jaiteh, at the African Heritage Festival in Louisville.

2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / For Good





NCE AGAIN, the Greater Louisville community showed that it is a

compassionate city of generous citizens who are willing to come together with gifts, both big and small, to make a major impact for our area’s nonprofits. On Sept. 15, during the third annual Give Local Louisville 24-hour online day of giving, our community raised $4.3 million through 21,189 gifts for 610 local nonprofits. This increase of over $1 million from the previous year was made possible by the sheer volume of gifts from people who wanted to be part of this force for good in our community.

Photo by Anthony Tran


ForGo o d / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

Local media dedicated airtime to inspire donors, nonprofits worked hard to create awareness for their individual missions, and hundreds showed up at the midday rally at 4th Street Live to recognize what these organizations add to our community. From the generosity of sponsors like the Sam Swope Family covering credit card and processing fees, to Delta Dental of Kentucky offering Golden Tickets that boosted 30 randomly selected donations by $1,000 each throughout the day, to partners like LG&E, Harshaw Trane, and more contributing over $300,000 in bonus and incentives for giving, it is no surprise Give Local Louisville trended on social media all day. Beyond the excitement of Give Local Louisville Day itself, the impact lasts all year long. Sticking with this edition’s theme of highlighting people and organizations dedicated to improving health in our community, the following pages raise up the stories of a few organizations and the lasting impact one day of giving can make.

Learn more at

From top clockwise: St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities receiving a Delta Dental Golden Ticket at the midday rally at 4th Street Live! Dancers representing Beaded Treasures, one of the many nonprofits participating in the celebration of our nonprofit community. The Give Local Louisville midday rally at 4th Street Live was a chance to make connections and celebrate our nonprofit community. Photos by O’Neil Arnold









MORE THAN $1 MILLION OVER THE PREVIOUS YEAR 2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / For Good




Photo by Chris Witzke

Dr. Charlotte Stites in the Smoketown Family Wellness Center space in the midst of its renovations.

SMOKETOWN FAMILY WELLNESS CENTER According to the latest Greater Louisville Project report on poverty, Smoketown is one of our community’s most multidimensionally poor neighborhoods, meaning its residents face multiple barriers to health and wellbeing that don’t just add up, they compound. While training in Portland, Ore., in the 1990s, pediatrician Dr. Charlotte Gay Stites was exposed to the benefits of integrating health services and practice, an idea that germinated for many years as she worked at East Louisville Pediatrics. In 2012, she left her pediatric practice, and in 2013 joined the Department of Public Health and Wellness to work on a community health improvement plan, integrating similar models to the program she helped in Oregon. After three years of planning, the Smoketown Family Wellness Center – a cross between a traditional pediatric office and a community center - is set to open in spring 2017 with some help along the way from Give Local Louisville. Imagine a center where parents will be able to partner with resources from the very beginning. Doctors will be on hand to help advise and treat families. Children will have a safe place to play, exercise and do homework. Parents will receive services that explain the needs of education, access, support, nutritional guidelines and more. Overall, the center will provide a space for everyone in Smoketown to successfully raise happy and healthy children — the exact types of steps that can help lift a community from the impacts of multidimensional poverty. The center will be located in the historic Presbyterian Community Center at 760 S. Hancock St., also known as the Grace Building and the John Little Mission Building. Previously, the building housed one of the first gyms in which Muhammad Ali trained. Preserving this location will help the community connect to the center because of their interest and passion surrounding the site’s history. As a young organization, Smoketown Family Wellness Center participated in Give Local Louisville for the first time in 2016 and used it as a platform to tell the community, “We’re here!” For Smoketown Family Wellness, the most important part of the day of giving was the opportunity to raise awareness and build community engagement and buy-in. Raising an impressive amount of over $89,000, Smoketown was able to achieve just that. “Give Local Louisville was a great platform for us to get recognition in the city and to promote our vision of creating a culture of health, starting with those in Smoketown where it seems out of reach,” said Dr. Stites. Buoyed by the funds and awareness gained through Give Local Louisville and other efforts, momentum remains strong for the organization. Renovations are under way as the center accelerates toward a spring opening. Smoketown Family Wellness Center is that much closer to empowering families to raise children who are healthy in mind, body and spirit.


Learn more at

For Good / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

Did you know that Louisville loses around 54,000 trees each year and that we have one of the fastest growing heat islands in the country? With our urban tree canopy currently standing at 37 percent against a goal of 45 percent, TreesLouisville is on a mission to reverse those trends. Many people do not realize that investing in the Louisville tree canopy will lead to environmental, economic and intrinsic benefits for everyone. Environmentally, trees provide better air quality and habitats for wildlife, and contribute to decreasing the heat island effect, which raises temperatures in all seasons. Can you imagine an even hotter summer in Louisville? Not only will shade lead to a cooler environment, it will lead to healthier air quality, which will lessen cases of asthma and other breathing issues. The preservation and planting of new trees also has emotional benefits. TreesLouisville Executive Director Cindi Sullivan said, “People are happier and feel wealthier when they have shade to congregate under, and children exposed to natural areas even perform better in school.” Trees help people save on their energy bills, increase neighborhood beauty and pride, which in turn increases property values and boosts the economy. Sullivan recognizes that many people don’t realize that a healthy tree canopy is as vital to a strong community as roads and bridges are, so education and awareness is an integral part of TreesLouisville’s efforts. In a time when Louisville really needs to support the growth and awareness of its tree canopy, TreesLouisville leaned on the communitywide support from Give Local Louisville. Participating for the second time, TreesLouisville laid out a strategy to reach new donors through social media this year. The successful strategy helped the organization raise over Photo by Michael Hayman $58,000 and make TreesLouisville is dedicated to improving our connections in city’s tree canopy. the city to fund the launch of a public education campaign to create awareness of the health benefits that come with creating a stronger tree canopy. TreesLouisville is on a roll — it recently received an anonymous $1 million challenge grant to further their efforts to create a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.

Learn more at



Photo by Leigh Wilcoxson Photography

Francisco “Ponch” Sotelo preparing lasagna at the Dare to Care Community Kitchen which prepares and distributes nearly 7,500 hot meals weekly for 35 different Kids Café sites.

DARE TO CARE “Will I be able to feed my family tonight?” Many people in the

Louisville community have to ask themselves this difficult question on a regular basis, and far too often the answer is “no.” Food insecurity impacts 1 in 6 individuals and 1 in 5 children in our community, meaning some have to choose between eating and other essentials such as medication, transportation, utilities or rent. Dare to Care was founded on Thanksgiving Eve in 1969 after the tragic death of 9-year-old Bobby Ellis from malnutrition. Forty-six years later, the organization has grown from a compassionate response to this tragedy operated out of a church basement to an organization that provided over 17 million meals last year. If you think Dare to Care is just a food pantry, think again. Did you know it partners with over 250 nonprofits, 38 elementary schools and businesses like Norton Healthcare to provide food – quality food – so that anyone who finds themselves hungry has a place to turn? Nearly half of people in the areas it serves are experiencing health hardships like heart disease and obesity. So beyond access, Dare to Care is emphasizing nutritional education and healthy food programs like its Cooking Matters classes, Mobile Pantry and the Backpack Buddy program, which distributed over 7 million pounds of produce in the past year. Dare to Care programs, initiatives and meals would not be possible without the engagement of the community. Facing significant corporate funding cuts at a time when food insecurity is growing means the nonprofit must cultivate new partners to support this vital work. That’s why Dare to Care sees Give Local Louisville as a great platform to generate additional support and awareness. Dare to Care Director of Strategic Initiatives Stan Siegwald said the organization’s involvement with Give Local Louisville “provided us tremendous community engagement and support. In the past two years, we have received over $80,000, which helps us procure about 300,000 meals.” Blown away by the energy and momentum surrounding the day, Siegwald feels Give Local Louisville helps shine a light on both the needs in our community and how Dare to Care is fulfilling those needs year-round.

Learn more at

Keeping up in school is difficult for any student. It becomes even more difficult, both educationally and motivationally, when you are grade levels behind your classmates and your resources are scarce. Louisville Central Community Center (LCCC) is a high-performing organization that works to engage youth in after-school programming to help them stay focused on their academics and become more selfreliant and independent. Most of the families LCCC helps come from around the Russell Neighborhood. Acknowledging that health issues in the community trace back to poverty and impact the way you live, LCCC also works alongside students’ families to help “family leaders” (the people raising the children regardless of their relationship) think through what they want to become, what they want their families to become, what they want their children to become and how to create a plan that fulfils these aspirations. To point these families toward a healthier future, LCCC helps family leaders get job-ready through entrepreneurship and job development, and by partnering with community employers who can help integrate them into the work force. Additionally, families are given the support to learn about the new economy and how they must enhance their skills to keep up with work in demand. Participating for the first time in Give Local Louisville, LCCC decided to “jump in” and raise funds that support its early childhood education and youth-aged programming, giving family leaders reassurance that their children will thrive. CEO Sam Watkins was impressed by the support of his board in working toward funding these programs. “At a time when we need to have qualified staff for the children, Give Local Louisville helped us,” Watkins said. Funds raised will go toward educational programming and specialized staff that will help ensure students who are two to three grade levels behind can be successful in school. Through homework assistance, mentoring, technology-based programming and other resources, students will receive help in critical subjects like math and reading, as well as remedial studies, which will allow them to catch up with other students in their grades. The benefit of these education programs will ultimately aid in the breakdown of the cycle of poverty in the Russell area.

Learn more at

Photo by Chris Witzke

Students getting extra help with schoolwork at an LCCC after school program. 2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / F or Good




Dr. Kupper Wintergerst, Wendy Novak and Ashley Novak Butler at the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center at Norton Children’s Hospital.


For Good / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

ON THE FIFTH FLOOR of Norton Children’s Hospital downtown is a small but bright corner dedicated to treating kids with type 1 diabetes. The wall leading into the unit is plastered with the smiling portraits of boys and girls doing what kids do: hula hooping, swimming, playing football and soccer. But it’s not all smiles and fun for these young people with type 1 diabetes. Not at the beginning, at least, when the shock of the diagnosis — and the lifelong battle that accompanies it — is settling in. Wendy Novak, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 7 years old, understands what it’s like to be one of those kids in the photos. She knows that their smiles were only achieved after long bouts of tears, hundreds of finger pricks and hours and hours of learning. And she wants to make their lives, and their families’ lives, as normal as possible. “When you’re diagnosed, it’s panic mode,” said Novak, now a grandmother of three. “You don’t control this. Your child could go into a coma and die, so to try and keep that on balance every day no matter what - that’s a big responsibility. Most parents feel unprepared and would love a place to go and learn as much as they can.” Thanks, in part, to Novak and her family, such a place now exists, with even more advanced services in the works. In 2013, the Novak family’s Lift a Life Foundation pledged $5 million to the Children’s Hospital Foundation to help fund the development of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, where type 1 diabetes patients can receive not just the specialized inpatient and outpatient treatment they need, but also the education and support vital to properly managing the disease. The donation was a Christmas gift from her husband, former YUM! Brands CEO, David Novak, and their only child, Ashley Novak Butler. “We’ve been given this blessing of being able to make an impact financially,” said Butler, who is director of the Lift a Life Foundation. “There are issues we care about very deeply, and juvenile diabetes is one of

them because of our experience with Mom. So, we wanted an opportunity to do something in our community – in the community she grew up in – to make a difference in the lives of families who have a child with this disease.” Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the pancreas stops producing, or doesn’t produce enough, insulin, the hormone that moves glucose into cells to convert to energy. Without insulin, cells starve, and glucose builds up in the blood causing high blood sugar. Unlike

to get a snack from the office. One day in elementary school, her blood sugar dropped so low that she started grabbing food from other kids’ trays. All she remembers is being carried out by the principal, kicking and screaming. “To go back (in school) the day after something like that – it was embarrassing,” Novak said. It’s that pain and struggle that the center is aiming to ease. The center currently consists of a four-room inpatient unit at Norton Children’s Hospital, which was recently updated thanks in large part to a Lift a Life

Photo by Norton Children’s Hospital

Dr. Kupper Wintergerst examining a young patient.

type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not caused by lifestyle and cannot be prevented. There is no known cure. Much emphasis is already placed on finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, but Novak said their vision – and the focus of the center – is to provide care and education that makes day-to-day life easier for kids living with the disease. “So many people think you take a shot and it’s OK. But that’s just the beginning,” Novak said. “Everything affects your blood sugar. Exercise affects it. When I get angry, my blood sugar goes up. Fright, kids preparing and nervous for a test … it’s a lot of learning.” The disease also takes a social and psychological toll on both the patient and the family. At school, Novak always felt different. She would leave class at a certain time every day

grant. Rooms are outfitted with video gaming systems and ample room for families to get comfortable during their hospital stay. Just outside the patient rooms sits a dedicated education space, where nurse educators help caregivers ingest the thick manual of information that accompanies a diabetes diagnosis. Additional clinical and education space is available at a new facility called Wendy & Jack’s Place (named for Novak and her father, who also had diabetes) at Norton Hospital’s Brownsboro location, where doctors see patients three days a week. And the center recently introduced a new telemedicine site in Owensboro where patients can consult with the doctor, nurse practitioner, nutritionist or diabetes educator via videoconferencing. Still awaiting the completion of an

2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / F or Good



update is the pediatric endocrinology department’s downtown outpatient space. With only eight exam rooms to accommodate the 1,400 type 1 diabetes patients the center serves annually – not to mention conduct clinical research – the space is a tight fit. Plans are currently under way to alleviate that problem with a new space for the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center that would offer even better services. The Novak’s generosity, along with support and grants from the Children’s Hospital Foundation, University of Louisville Foundation and the hospitals and university themselves, has drawn particular gratitude from Dr. Kupper Wintergerst, a pediatric endocrinologist who began crafting the vision for the center more than a decade ago. When he came to University of Louisville in 2006, he was one of two pediatric endocrinologists on staff who, along with a nurse practitioner, a

The Arnolds When her then-8-yearold son, Henry, started drinking and using the bathroom more than usual last spring, Elissa Arnold’s mom instincts kicked in.


For Good / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

nutritionist and one nurse educator, were caring for 1,000 type 1 diabetes patients a year. Wintergerst knew that wasn’t enough, and began tirelessly lobbying for more staff and more services. The program grew steadily for several years, adding doctors, nurses and educators and vastly reducing the wait time to see a pediatric endocrinologist. They made great strides in educating local pediatricians and hospital staff on how to spot symptoms of childhood diabetes. But it was when he was connected with the Novaks in 2013 that his vision took off. “It utterly changed everything,” said Wintergerst, director of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center. Not only have the inpatient and outpatient facilities gotten upgrades, but the size of the clinical staff has grown, which has in turn allowed the center to serve more patients and treat them more effectively. The center now employs five doctors, five

Not wanting to believe it was anything serious, Arnold convinced herself she was overreacting. She asked her husband and friends. All agreed it was probably nothing. When Henry caught the flu a few weeks later and didn’t bounce back, Arnold stopped second-guessing herself and headed to the doctor. As her son lie listlessly on the exam table, Arnold mentioned the odd symptoms. The pediatrician immediately tested Henry’s blood sugar. It was high. “The doctor said, ‘This is a big deal,’ ” Arnold recalled. Henry went directly to the pediatric intensive care unit at Norton Children’s Hospital downtown. A day later, he was sent to the inpatient pediatric diabetes wing at the hospital’s Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, where the family began learning what his diagnosis meant. Every year, about 15,000 kids

nurse practitioners and four nurse educators, as well as nutritionists and other staff. Two more physicians will soon be added, and Wintergerst continues to recruit aggressively. But the Novak family’s financial contribution has not been the only key to success, Wintergerst said. It’s the devotion the mother and daughter have shown to the center – their energy and their passion – that have made the difference. “They didn’t just donate and walk away,” said Wintergerst, who works closely with Ashley Novak Butler and Wendy Novak. “If they had done that, I would have had a lot of trouble maintaining the momentum. What the Novaks have done is shine a – well, more than a spotlight, it was like a supermoon – on diabetes care services. And that has led to attention from the university leadership all the way to the top,” Wintergerst said. “That’s something we never could have done with a donor that was simply kind enough to gift the

across the country are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For the patients and their families, the sudden change in lifestyle can be overwhelming. They must learn how to test blood sugar and give injections, and to count carbohydrates, which affect blood sugar more than protein or fats. Since there is no cure, the changes are forever. But with the educational resources and assurances from the medical team at the center, the Arnolds learned that with proper management, Henry would be OK. “I thought, OK, we can handle this,” Arnold said. “I can … cry about this and say this is awful and put him in bubble wrap, or we can just get on with it and do normal.” Nine months into his diagnosis, Henry and the Arnolds continue to “do normal.” Henry, now 9, plays soccer and

basketball. He’s a healthy kid who happens to have a pancreas that doesn’t work right, but that doesn’t stop him from doing everything that everyone else does. The boy who once wanted a Band-Aid after every finger prick, Arnold said, now gives himself insulin injections and checks his own blood sugar six times a day. For the Arnolds, the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center has made all the difference, not just for the top-notch medical care but also for support and resources. “The first thing they (doctors and nurses) said was that we could call them any time of the day or year,” said Arnold, who has taken them up on the offer several times. “The support we have is just amazing. Having a center like this, you realize you’re not the only one. And it’s so easy to get there and get everything you need. It’s invaluable.”

Dr. Kupper Wintergerst Walking through his outpatient office space at the Children’s Hospital Foundation building, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Kupper Wintergerst points out its shortcomings. Every nook and cranny is packed with people or piles of equipment. The office has five doctors, five

nurse practitioners, a diabetes psychologist, a diabetes sports physiologist, four diabetes educators and only eight exam rooms to serve the 9,000-plus appointments they book yearly. “The math just doesn’t add up,” Wintergerst said. Wintergerst is optimistic that it won’t be long before he and the rest of the endocrinology team are in a new space. Plans are in development for a new, state-of-the-art outpatient center that will house the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center and better serve the region’s pediatric diabetes patients. Plans call for ample space devoted to each of the center’s missions: outstanding clinical care, education and cutting-edge research that will improve the lives of children and young adults living with type 1 diabetes. “Our motto is happier, healthier, more active lives,” said Wintergerst, chief of pediatric endocrinology at University of Louisville and director of the

program with a large amount of funding support. It’s the emotional investment and the personal attention that has made the difference.” Walking away is not the Novak family’s style. Mother and daughter are both intimately involved in the center, from branding to services to best-practice visits to other diabetes centers across the country. While Butler is more involved with the dayto-day, she said it’s her mom who is the driving force that keeps everyone focused on the mission of creating a center that improves the lives of kids with type 1 diabetes. “She struggles with the disease daily, so she has a very unique perspective on what’s needed and where we should focus our efforts,” Butler said. “If we ever get off track, she’s right there to refocus our attention.” The family has also established a fund with the Community Foundation of Louisville that will help ensure the mission to provide excellent care and become a nationally recognized center continues. The family can

Wendy Novak Diabetes Center. “We want to do things that immediately have an impact. Our focus is on the here and now.” Those impacts have already been felt in the region. Wintergerst has recruited more physicians, nurse practitioners and nurse educators to the program, reducing the time it takes to get an appointment for diabetes care from three months to one month. His community education and outreach efforts have increased awareness of diabetes symptoms so that more pediatricians and other healthcare providers can spot the disease before it turns into a hospital visit or worse. And if those children are admitted to Norton Children’s Hospital, they now get the highest quality care from a dedicated diabetes team. Wintergerst has also increased the age limit for the pediatric center to 26 so doctors can guide their patients through a time when many are on their own for the first time and struggle to

contribute to that fund and direct how the money is used. That way, Butler said, even if priorities for the other foundations and organizations that currently support the vision change in the future, the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center will always have a source of funding to continue its mission. Proceeds from David Novak’s book, “O Great One!,” and his new company, OGO, will go directly to the family’s fund at the Community Foundation.


The Novaks and Wintergerst believe the center’s mission – providing the best care and education so that type 1 diabetes patients can live healthier, more normal lives – is

take care of themselves. The center is also focusing on mental and behavioral health, as well as sports and activity, for those with type 1 diabetes. Wintergerst and his team are developing trials to determine how each sport, from soccer to running to football, affects blood sugar in diabetes patients. Wintergerst says colleagues around the country are envious of the innovations in clinical care he’s been able to undertake thanks to the generosity of the Novak family and other donors. “To have an impact on diabetes care, education and research in our state and on a national scale, we needed incredible support from our community. The Novaks have been the catalyst for all of the amazing things we have been able to do, and they continue to lead us in accomplishing our vision of a brighter future for those living with diabetes,” he said.

one that is desperately needed in Kentucky. If they aren’t able to receive services – or it takes too long to see a doctor in town — kids will have to travel long distances to other cities outside the state, like Nashville or Cincinnati, for treatment. That’s a strain on the patient and their families. “When we announced the grant (in 2013), I had one of the parents run up and give me a hug,” Novak said. “I knew we needed it, but I think it’s desperately wanted in this community.” For Novak and Butler, the center is not just a way to improve children’s lives but also a way to work together. Butler works with her father, David, on other initiatives through the Lift a Life Foundation. This, she said, is her “mom project.” “It’s pretty awesome to be able to work with my mom,” said Butler. “If you have the opportunity to make an impact in an area that you really care about and you get to do that with a family member, what better family legacy can you leave?”

2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / F or Good



inspires us


Photo by Chris Witzke


n her home state of Maryland, there were the day-long horseback rides on her grandparents’ farm where she consciously and subconsciously connected with nature. There were the religious teachings she received from a cloistered order of nuns about everyone’s duty to serve, to whatever degree they could, as part of her Catholic upbringing. Then there was the example set by her family — witnessing the actions of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents impressed the importance of helping others upon her from a young age. Now all of these influences have come full circle — to the Circle of Harmony & Health — for the unstoppable Christy Brown. Born in Washington, DC in 1946 and raised in Frederick, Md., Christy moved to Louisville in 1968 when she married Owsley Brown II. Since Owsley had been away at school and serving in the military, the two set about discovering the city together as adults. Immediately, Christy was struck with what she describes as an “incredible generosity of spirit, kindness and fun” the city had to offer. It didn’t hurt


For Good / Issue 4 / 2 0 1 7

that one of her first experiences in Louisville was the Kentucky Derby. From the moment the couple was settled after their honeymoon, friends and relatives connected them with many arts organizations that fit their areas of interest, but also enabled them to serve community and make friendships through their civic volunteerism. As Christy put it, she “kept saying yes” to opportunities to be involved. As she raised their three children, Owsley Brown III, Brooke Barzun and Augusta Holland, her interests and life path continued to both evolve and draw on experiences from her youth. As the founder of the Festival of Faiths, she began exploring the interconnectivity between faith and the environment. This exploration of the sacred in the elements (air, water and soil) led to her to establish the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, an organization dedicated to supporting health in all spheres of life. It is through the Institute that Christy seems to be bringing all of her passions together. When you listen to her describe the Circle of Harmony & Health, you know this is a woman who is dedicating her life to improving health, and not just for a few, but for all. And she challenges everyone she meets to think about the role they might play in helping others look at the world through this lens. Whether that is Prince Charles or the Dalai Lama or someone she just met, she is always encouraging people to think about various components of health and how they can be an ambassador for health in all policies through their own networks. “Maybe you are doing fine in terms of financial health, but how are you doing on spiritual health, physical health, psychological health?” asked Christy. “Like a see-saw, it requires constant evaluation and adjustment to find just the right balance” among all eight aspects on the Circle of Harmony & Health to achieve optimal health — nutritional, economic, environmental,

psychological, intellectual, spiritual, cultural and physical. While she offers a sobering reality check on where Louisville stands in many health rankings, she sees tremendous opportunity for the city to be an urban laboratory and a model for other communities around the country and the world. She points to the Green for Good project at St. Margaret Mary School on Shelbyville Road as a perfect example. The collaboration between the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, the University of Louisville and the City of Louisville’s Office of Sustainability is a landmark research project designed to gather data to show how a buffer of trees and shrubbery can improve air quality and the health of citizens in a heavily trafficked area. It is this type of world-class science and data that Christy knows can start improving lives here and be replicated elsewhere, setting a new course for everyone’s future. “It is health that unifies us all. Our desire to lead healthy lives, our desire to have healthy families, our desire to have healthy communities,” said Christy, as she encourages the vocabulary of health as a way to break down the silos that divide us. In this time of silos and division, we are inspired by those who keep saying yes. Thank you, Christy, for saying yes to health, yes to Louisville and yes to the world we all share.

Circle of Harmony & Health.




Families at all levels of wealth commonly include charitable giving as a part of their estate plans. This generosity is absolutely essential to maintaining and building excellence in so many civic areas, including hospitals, social services, conservation, the arts and education. While the community’s need for philanthropy is constant, the estate and income tax environment for donors is changing. Since 2001, a key driver of change has been an increase in the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $5.45 million. After the November election, the potential for outright repeal of the estate tax and cuts to marginal income tax rates has increased. In this type of tax environment, donors who have personal financial security but who are unlikely to pay estate tax (for instance, a married couple with wealth below $10.9 million) may find donor advised funds at community foundations to be very useful tools – especially if their income is “lumpy,” and they are sometimes (but not always) in the top income tax bracket. This is for two key reasons. First, if a donor’s estate isn’t taxable, gifts to charity don’t produce an estate tax charitable deduction. In contrast, the same gifts made during a donor’s lifetime reduce descendants’ inheritances, but also offer the benefit of charitable income tax deductions. This, of course, increases the donor’s overall net-of-tax wealth available for charities and family. Second, when a donor’s tax

bracket changes from year to year, whether because of changes in the donor’s income, or changes in tax rates, charitable income tax deductions are worth more in some years than they are in others. Donor advised funds offer both quick tax planning and unhurried charitable giving, because donors can set aside funds for charitable use and obtain an immediate income tax deduction, even if they aren’t ready to make long-term decisions about use of the donated funds. Once a donor advised fund has been established, it often makes sense to coordinate use of the fund with the donor’s estate plan. To do this, the estate plan can set an overall target for lifetime and testamentary giving to the donor advised fund. Year-by-year gifts to the donor advised fund can change the donor’s tax bracket exposure or shift deductions into years before a tax cut. These optional gifts reduce the donor’s income taxes by pre-funding their charitable intentions while they’re still living. If lifetime gifts meet or exceed the target amount, no additional contributions would be made at the time of the donor’s estate administration. In contrast, any shortfall between lifetime gifts and the target amount could be funded during estate administration. With this coordinated approach that’s thoughtful, generous and flexible, donors have certainty about what their

overall charitable impact will be, as well as the balance between charitable giving and inheritances for family.

“THESE OPTIONAL GIFTS REDUCE THE DONOR’S INCOME TAXES BY PREFUNDING THEIR CHARITABLE INTENTIONS WHILE THEY’RE STILL LIVING.” For more information on establishing a donor advised fund, contact Heather Cash at 502.855.6955 at the Community Foundation of Louisville or consult with your attorney or tax advisor to determine the option that will best suit your family’s needs.

Before founding Ruml PLC, a boutique trusts and estates law firm, Carter Ruml practiced law with Stites & Harbison PLLC and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP and worked with PNC Wealth Management. A Certified Financial Planner, he earned his JD from Stanford Law School and is admitted to practice in Kentucky and Florida. His wife, Sarah, is a Louisville native. Their two children are 10th-generation Kentuckians.

2 0 1 7 / I s s u e 4 / F or Good



Waterfront Plaza 325 W. Main St. Suite 1110 Louisville, KY 40202-4251





Join us in being a Force for Good. Connect with the Community Foundation of Louisville by visiting

ForGood: Louisville's Philanthropy Magazine. Issue 4 / 2017  

ForGood is a publication of the Community Foundation of Louisville. At the Community Foundation, we are committed to promoting the understan...

ForGood: Louisville's Philanthropy Magazine. Issue 4 / 2017  

ForGood is a publication of the Community Foundation of Louisville. At the Community Foundation, we are committed to promoting the understan...