Our Work and Programs
Himmelfarb Library’s 3D Printer: The Women’s Board funded the addition of a 3D printer to the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Faculty, staff, and students, along with the GW Hospital and MFA now have access to this service. To see a brief video of the technology, click here.
Monta Sommer Scholarship Fund: This fund has provided books to exemplary medical students at George Washington University.
Nursing/Public Health Scholarship Fund: Now in its twelfth year, the Women’s Board awards scholarship money to qualified nursing and public health students who have worked at GW Hospital for at least one year. To date, over $300,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to deserving students. The Board holds an annual charity golf tournament to support this fund.
Medical School Scholarship Fund: Each year, the Women's Board awards educational scholarships to eligible 3rd year GW medical school students for use towards tuition and other school-related needs during their fourth year. To date, over $100,000 has been awarded.
NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit) Baby Program: Specially treated 5”x3” baby blankets, isolet covers and baby holders are sewn by volunteers to help with the care of pre- term, high risk babies. Over 800 sets have been donated to NICU in the last 10 years.
Recently, the Women’s Board provided $52,000 for the placement of web cameras by the bedside of NICU infants. This NicView offers secure, online streaming service which allows parents, family and loved ones of NICU babies to view their infant 24/7, remotely. Family members can securely access NicView from anywhere there is an internet connection via a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. This innovative service provides comfort to NICU families.
Art Therapy: As part of patient advocacy, the Women's Board works with patients in Oncology and Rehabilitation to create various forms of art, in an effort to make their hospital stay more comfortable. Patients are guided in creating jewelry, pottery, greeting cards and more.
Patient Advocacy Programs: This fund provides clothing, services and other necessities to indigent patients who are not covered by Medicaid or other charitable health care programs. Over the years, the Women’s Board has developed a track record of responding to the needs of the less fortunate.
GW Cancer Center: The Women's Board supports cancer research, treatment and screening through its annual contribution to the GW Cancer Center. To date, the Women’s Board has contributed over $100,000.
The Women’s Board Teaching Center: In 1998, the Women’s Board contributed $110,000 towards computers for the Himmelfarb Library Women’s Board Teaching Center. The Women’s board continues to provide financial support to the Center to help maintain the advances in technology.
Hospital Gift Shop: In March 1948, the hospital moved to its new building on 23rd Street, and the Women’s Board opened the District’s first hospital gift shop in the main lobby. Since then, it has been an instant hit among the patients, their families and friends. The gift shop carries books, toiletries, greeting cards, flowers/plants, jewelry, clothing, gift items, sodas, snacks and other necessities..For 54 years, the shop was run by a manager and staffed by volunteers. In October 2002, a contract was entered into by the Women’s Board with Lori’s Hospital Gift Shops, a subsidiary of Hallmark, to manage the shop.
Charity Golf Tournament: Seventeen years ago, the Women’s Board launched a charity golf tournament to raise scholarship funds for the nurses. The medical community responded positively to the initiative. As word spread, players from the Metropolitan D.C. area came out to support the tournament. Beneficiaries of the tournament now include nursing, public health and medical school scholarships, the GW Cancer Center and patient advocacy programs.
The Spiritual Care Program: The Women’s Board initiated a chaplaincy program in the spring of 2000 to attend to the humane and spiritual needs of patients, family members and staff. Community clergy from many different faiths serve as emergency staff during peak critical times. Our pastoral staff is made up of Catholic, Presbyterian, Muslim, Methodist, Jewish, Jehovah Witnesses and Episcopalian faiths.
In 2003, the Women’s Board funded and oversaw the transformation of the existing Meditation Room at the hospital into an Interfaith Chapel. Tasked with this challenging project was Catherine Kapikian, renowned designer, and Founder and Director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion of the Wesley Theological Seminary. Ms. Kapikian was also commissioned to do the art work for the chapel which she called “Passages”. The Interfaith Chapel was dedicated on December 13, 2006.
The Women’s Board continues to support the Spiritual Care Program by providing bibles and Korans to all hospital patients.
Lights of Life: Now in its fifteenth year, the Lights of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony has become a tradition in the Foggy Bottom community. During the holiday season, trees in the GW Ross Hall courtyard are lit in honor and in memory of loved ones, friends, those in the military, especially our troops overseas serving in harm’s way and other special people who have touched our lives. Names of honorees are read during the special ceremony and are also published in the event’s commemorative program. These lights remain lit during the holiday season. Donations received benefit patient programs supported by the Women’s Board.
Holiday Gift Giving: The Women’s Board brings holiday cheer on December 24 to patients at GW Hospital with gifts personally wrapped and delivered by its members.
Women’s Health Symposium: On April 24, 2010, the Women’s Board launched its first women’s health symposium, Woman to Woman Mind, Body, and Spirit. The symposium, which was free and open to the public, focused on stress management, diet and nutrition, exercise, diabetes and heart health. Free health screenings were provided along with complimentary health related products, as well as, educational workshops. The second symposium was held on March 10, 2012 and was significantly expanded at The Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, thanks to the donation of the space by GW President, Steven Knapp. The event included health education by leading GW physicians, cooking demonstrations by a celebrity chef and a seated exercise class led by a local physical fitness trainer which was enjoyed by over 150 participants ages 18-92. Free transportation was provided to women recovering in a domestic violence shelter.
Historical Wall: In May 2010, the Women’s Board installed a permanent art piece showcasing the extraordinary volunteer work of its members since the founding of the organization in 1898. The 10 ft x 5 ft piece now occupies the wall adjacent to the Gift Shop on the Mezzanine Level of the Hospital.
GOCI: The Global Outreach and Community Interest Committee focuses on global outreach and the local community. The committee has supported surgical mission trips to Guatemala and Haiti which included volunteer teams of GW surgeons, nurses and public health students. In addition, the committee provides support to the American Heart Association's Heart Health Walk, Girls on the Run-DC and Safe Shores DC Children’s Advocacy Center.