by, Nancy Groves VanBuskirk
When we think of our connection with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center we automatically think of the Divisions we have supported. But we have a deep and on going connection with The Department of Development at Cincinnati Children’s. It has been the key link between CCHMC and all its auxiliaries. Within Development, Kindervelt works with the Director of Auxiliary Relations who is Keith Henize and his Administrative Assistant, Kelly Bollinger. Keith and Kelly are our go to people when we need to connect with hospital staff, schedule meetings, arrange tours, answer our multitude of questions, and lend support. Keith and Kelly attend our Leadership Meetings and city wide events and keep us updated on CCHMC news and events especially during COVID and the creation of the new Critical Care Building.
Over the past 5 decades we have had four other wonderful people from the Department of Development fill this most valuable role as CCHMC Liaison for Kindervelt. The first was Zeke Curtain, our liaison from 1972 to 1979 and a major help in getting our fledgling organization off to a strong start. Jody Mullen was our second liaison from 1979-1981. Sonja Payne took over the liaison position in 1981 and held it through to her retirement in 2002. Sonja was a member of KV 10 and later KV 29. During the time of Zeke, Jody, and Sonja, we relied heavily on Development for all our printing and mailing needs in addition to the many ways they connected us to the hospital. Then in 2002 Rich Dineen became our liaison when he took on the overall responsibility for Corporate and Foundation Relations, which included Kindervelt. He, like all our liaisons, attended all our President Council meetings and many city wide events. He was instrumental in getting us to celebrate our various milestones – CCHMC’s Celestial Ball to celebrate KV 40th Anniversary, and the creation of the Barbara Fitch Award. Our current liaison, Keith Henize, photo above, took over in 2012.
Our commitments are our most visible connection to CCHMC. It is the WHY in what we do. So how do we arrive at all of our commitments? Well our Department of Development Liaison is our link. So I asked Keith what all is involved in selecting a new commitment. – Every four years when it is time for us to select a new commitment, our liaison asks the hospital leadership to identify three priority needs at the time. These three areas are contacted and invited to make a presentation to the Kindervelt Board about their work, describe the need that they have, and explain how Kindervelt’s support would further that work. Once all the presentations have been made, the Kindervelt Board votes by secret ballot to determine their next four-year commitment. The new commitment is announced at the Annual Meeting in May after the final check presentation is made to the current commitment.
But there is one more KV-CCHMC connection. Our City President has a seat as a non voting member on the CCHMC Board of Trustees. This came about when Barbara Fitch, a CHMC Board Member, requested inclusion of the auxiliary presidents. Their role was to report to the board about their activities and to inform their organizations about what the hospital was doing. In the beginning this was a monthly meeting, then quarterly, and now do to Covid, once a year. It is also another means in which Kindervelt and the other auxiliaries can connect with each other about their activities.
The connections we have together makes us better able to make a difference in the lives of children, their families, and the community.