Our Charities: Postpone, Go Virtual, Survive

Excerpt on The Woman’s Board:

For twenty-six years The Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center has brought forth vibrant voices with powerful messages to sold-out audiences each spring. From the first luncheon featuring fashion editor Grace Mirabella to speakers throughout the years including Madeleine Albright, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Laura Bush, Sherry Lansing, Nora Ephron, and other enlivening legends, the Rush Spring Luncheon bursts forth each year as the event to inspire. This year’s co-chairs Katie Frekko and Brooke Kuehnle set a goal of 550 attendees to hear businesswoman, humanitarian, and philanthropist Cindy McCain to speak April 16th.

Katie Frekko and Brooke Kuehnle, co-chairs of The Woman’s Board 2020 Spring Luncheon.

The much-anticipated spring social event where women first select frilly florals and pastel suits for the season and anticipate seeing friends who have been away all winter, always has a profound underlying purpose: this year’s event backed Rush’s determination to study and pilot new models of care delivery for cancer patients. On average, cancer patients have to wait almost a month for first treatments to begin and then struggle to navigate the complexity of care. This project aims to reduce patients’ time to first treatment and create value and reduce costs.

“We are determined to create the perfect experience for all cancer patients, which they so deserve: coordinated, cost-effective, and highly compassionate,” Frekko told us in March. “These should be extra special services that let people know how much the center cares about them.”

The Woman’s Board President Cindy Nicolaides explained that social media has become the board’s main avenue for getting the message out about their cause. They have been regularly posting information regarding Rush’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports those on the front line, including hardship costs such as food, childcare, and eldercare; patients and their families, including hospital equipment needs and technology to connect patients and visitors amid restrictions (donate here).

Last year’s packed luncheon.

The Woman’s Board continues to work extremely closely with the hospital: “Our contacts within the philanthropy department have kept us informed on the developments within the hospital. The Woman’s Board runs the gift shops within the hospital—with their closure, Rush HR has been instrumental in helping redeploy our employees. And, we are still planning for the future. For instance, Rush legal has been working on contracts for our Fall Benefit scheduled for October 2nd and for our luncheon for next spring. We are very excited and would like everyone to save Tuesday, May 11, 2021 to join us at the Hilton Chicago to hear Cindy McCain.”

Originally posted on April 5, 2020. Read the Classic Chicago Magazine article online here.

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