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WISH awards its first grants to Panhandle Home Health, Inc., Seeding Your Future Initiative

ISSUED: 24 August 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — WISH, a women’s giving circle sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, awarded its two inaugural grants totaling $52,500 collectively to community nonprofit Panhandle Home Health Inc.’s Advanced Wound Care Initiative and to Shepherd University’s learning project Seeding Your Future Initiative on Sunday, August 23, at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown.

Nonprofit winner Advanced Wound Care Initiative, sponsored by Panhandle Home Health, Inc., seeks to address the need for wound-care certification in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties. In 2013, wound care was provided to 346 patients with a total of 733 wounds, and in 2014 this number doubled. The WISH grant will provide training to six nurses in 2015 and 2016, thus helping meet the goal of decreasing suffering of all patients with wounds, speeding recovery time, and decreasing the need for re-hospitalization.

“We at Panhandle Home Health are deeply honored and truly humbled to be named the winner of the WISH grant,” said Lisa Bivens, executive director. “This advanced training provides wound management expertise right at the bedside to a vulnerable patient population with multiple diseases or conditions which compromise wound healing. These patients may not otherwise have access to such an advanced level of care, and it will be provided in the comfort of home.”

Shepherd University’s learning project winner Seeding Your Future Initiative will address the challenge of engaging middle and high school-age students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The initiative consists of two parts: the Seeding Your Future conference and the Seeding Your Future workshop series. The WISH grant will allow the program to expand the number of students reached, thus increasing the potential to spark interest in the STEM fields and inspire the next generation of STEM graduates.

“Receiving the WISH grant allows us to grow the great start to our Seeding Your Future Initiative,” said Dr. Jordan Mader, project co-coordinator and assistant professor of chemistry at Shepherd University. “The support from WISH will allow us to expand the conference by 25 participants per year. It will enable us to accommodate more participants and have a greater impact on the communities in the Eastern Panhandle and surrounding region.”

More than 80 WISH members and guests were on hand to celebrate the grant winners, including Rebecca Powers, founder of Impact Austin and WISH mentor. Rebecca Powers spoke at a Women for Shepherd event in fall 2013, Inspired Philanthropy, about the collective women’s giving circle she created in 2003 in the greater Austin, Texas, area. Following her presentation, the Shepherd University Foundation worked with a core group of interested women to launch a similar giving program in a three-state, nine-county area surrounding Shepherd University.

“No one is your biggest cheerleader more than I am,” said Powers. “You are making a huge difference in hundreds of lives, including your own.”

WISH is a women’s giving circle created by Women for Shepherd University and sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation. WISH inspires, educates, and develops the potential of women’s philanthropy through high-impact grant-making. Members pool their $500 annual contribution, which is then divided between the two grant entities. A one woman, one vote process determines the grant recipients in each category. Membership for 2015 is being accepted until December 31.

To learn more about becoming a member of WISH or about the organization, visit, or contact Meg Peterson at 304-876-5021 or email

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