Check out what one of the Portland Young Survivors Group women did. She writes,
“My Little Waiting room was started by a conversation between two friends about how we could improve access to medical care for families in our community. It is our vision to create a safe place where children can thrive while their mom, dad, brothers or sisters receive medical care. We think since places like, Fred Meyer and 24 Hour Fitness have drop-in child care, hospitals should too.”
“PORTLAND, OREGON RESIDENT WINS CASH AWARD TO LAUNCH PILOT PROGRAM ASSISTING FAMILIES IN NEED OF CHILDCARE AT MEDICAL CENTERS
Amy Paterson Honored with $5,000 Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund Award
(New York, NY, January 15, 2008) – Portland, Oregon resident Amy Paterson, 35, will start the new year one step closer to fulfilling her dream of creating a better tomorrow for her community. Amy was named this week’s winner of the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund, a weekly $5,000 cash award program from Avon Products, Inc. to support individuals in their work to empower women. Amy’s award will fund the launch of My Little Waiting Room, a pilot program offering drop-in childcare at medical and wellness centers.
A recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health report states that women caregivers are 50% more likely than other women to report difficulty obtaining necessary medical care, and twice as likely to forego care altogether. A lack of childcare is a major obstacle for many women seeking and receiving timely and professional medical attention. Amy’s community of Portland lacks any medical center with drop-in childcare, and this absent service negatively impacts the ability of area mothers to take charge of their health.
After surviving a year of extensive breast cancer treatments as a young mother, Amy experienced firsthand the debilitating effects of inadequate childcare. In hindsight, she questions the possibility of earlier detection had childcare had been more accessible, as she was often left with no other choice than to cancel or postpone what were now clearly critical appointments. A close friend asked Amy if she had learned anything from her experience. For Amy, this question sparked the idea for the My Little Waiting Room program.
Amy has since moved forward full-force toward solidifying her idea for the program, including researching funding sources, advocating locally for on-site drop-in childcare in medical settings, and offering volunteer childcare for parents who attend cancer support groups. Amy believes women should have unrestricted access to wellness resources. “My grocery store, my gym, and even the furniture store have childcare – so should my doctor’s office,” she explains.
As a Vice President in public relations, Amy has both the wide-reaching community contacts and extensive fundraising skills to help make her vision a reality. Now, thanks to the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund, she has the seed money to support staffing for My Little Waiting Room as a three-month pilot program that will provide six hours per week of childcare at a local healthcare provider. Amy hopes this will serve as the start of more permanent and extensive services in the Portland area. Utilizing a successful program in a Minneapolis hospital as a model, My Little Waiting Room envisions partnering with a childcare service for staffing and liability insurance and with a hospital/medical center for space, marketing, utilities and housekeeping. With the help of her Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund award, Amy can bring her vision to fruition and provide other women and their families with accessible childcare and medical attention.
Amy’s winning application to the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund fell under the category of “Community Service.” Her proposal met the criteria to clearly present unique and achievable objectives to empower women or girls and ultimately improve society. It was selected from a pool of strong contenders by an expert panel of judges, including Suze Orman, America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. “Her goal is a large one and one that really will need a lot of energy,” noted Orman of Amy’s proposal. “The good news is it has to start somewhere and I think Amy has what it takes to do this.” “