WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls (CCFWG) will honor Patricia Yoder – a passionate advocate for women and children in Chester County – with our Kitchen Table Award at the 15th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon on Friday, May 1, 2020, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern.
CCFWG established the Kitchen Table Award in 2011 to honor a Chester County woman who has made substantive contributions through service and/or philanthropy to improve the lives of women and girls through her own time, talent or resources.
It is named in celebration of the genesis of CCFWG in 1996: many conversations held around kitchen, board and coffee tables about what could be done to address the needs of women and girls of the community.
Pat Yoder, RN, MPH, has dedicated over 30 years to caring for Chester County mothers and children in her role as the Chester County Health Department’s maternal-child health supervisor.
Pat has established and led a wide spectrum of programs, including nurse home visiting services for pregnant women and families with young children, with a focus on health assessment and health education.
As a Registered Nurse (RN), she has played a critical role in minimizing barriers to care and connecting families to much needed resources.
Under Pat’s leadership, the nurse home visiting programs in the county now include both a more intensive and long-term Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program for vulnerable first-time low-income mothers and a Title V home visiting program that provides essential public health services to women, mothers, infants, children up to 22 and children with special health care needs and their families.
Pat is well respected throughout Pennsylvania for her work with women and children, a passion that was ignited at a church in Chester County back in 1987. Pat belonged to a community group that would meet at the church to hear local homeless women share their stories.
Driven to make a difference in the lives of these women, the group formed a three-way partnership among families facing homelessness, church-based volunteers trained to provide practical support and encouragement, and professional staff members.
The model – called Bridge of Hope – was designed to last 18-24 months to give families the time and opportunities necessary for long-term change.
Pat served as a founding board member for several years, and as their model expanded to other locations, she served on the national Bridge of Hope board for six years. Today, Bridge of Hope has grown to 19 sites nationally thanks to the early support of Pat and her fellow community members.
Additionally, Pat plays a leadership role in numerous local and statewide committees and advisory groups related to maternal-child health.
She serves on the PA Department of Health Title V Advisory Committee, PA Department of Health Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Advisory Committee, March of Dimes Chester County Collaborative, and the Chester County ACE’s Coalition, among others.
She has also been awarded the Outstanding National Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Administrator Award, and is a past recipient of the March of Dimes Women of Achievement Award in the health category.
In the words of retired Director of the Chester County Health Department and nominator Margaret Rivello, “Pat is a modest and unassuming professional who has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of women and children who live in Chester County.
She is passionate about maternal child health and has devoted her entire career to it. A true public health expert, Pat also recognizes the impact social determinants of health have on struggling families and works to get them access to resources relevant to their situation… she is one of Chester County’s unsung heroes!”
Our 15th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon will also feature keynote speaker Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, renowned speaker, social justice activist, and author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in The Civil Rights Movement.
She serves on several national boards, including the Women’s Media Center. In this Centennial anniversary year, or the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, Dr. Bell will speak to the connections among the original Women’s Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and our current climate today.
To learn more about her work, visit https://janetdewartbell.com/.
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