Our Branch program speakers Feb. 20 shared an extensive amount of information and resources to follow up on Jefferson County women’s issues.
Speakers: Tina Flores-McCleese (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chair of Fund for Women & Girls and CEO of Clarity Enterprises Inc, Beulah Kingsolver (https://www.dovehousejc.org/contact-us.html), Executive Director, Dove House, and Justine Gonzalez-Berg (email@example.com), Executive Director of Housing Solution Network
Jefferson Health Care Reports
Better Child Care Policies Might Lift Women in Work Force https://nyti.ms/3srUO9Y
Personal Stories of Hardship
12/23/20 Email to AAUW PT from Executive Director, Jefferson Healthcare Foundation:
Here are two examples of the complexities our employees are navigating (names changed for privacy):
“Maggie” lives in Chimacum and has 3 children. During the spring, she received free emergency childcare for essential workers in Port Townsend. When that ended on June 18, Maggie’s neighbor, whose grandchildren stay with her, agreed to watch Maggie’s children as well. The arrangement lasted until August. Summer Day Camp at the Y was Maggie’s next solution, even though her shift started at 7 am, and camp didn’t start until 8 o’clock. Camp concluded on August 28, but school didn’t start until after Labor Day. The cost for childcare near her home is $1,600 per month for the 3 days per week that her kids had online school. She and her partner now also considered a move to another community, where private school tuition was only $1,300 and they might be able to buy a home.
“Jill” joined Jefferson Healthcare to work in the COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic. With a passion for service, she took extra shifts and filled staffing gaps while emergency childcare was available for essential workers last spring. When that ended, she accepted financial aid for childcare from Jefferson Healthcare Foundation, so that she could maintain her full-time schedule in the clinic. Later she requested a shift change to work over the weekend, so that her young child could go to relatives on Saturday and Sunday, and to daycare on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, thus reducing her childcare costs.
About half of the working parents who have received aid from our Healthcare Worker Assistance Fund reported “tears of relief” for this help. The situation is heart-wrenching in this way. We also know that prolonged, chronic stress can have negative mental and physical health effects, now and much later in life. In this way, the pressure on children and families is also very difficult to witness.
The generosity of our community eases this pain and quite literally empowers our healthcare workforce to last. As of December 2020, thanks to donations and grants, Jefferson Healthcare Foundation has provided financial aid to 24 families with a total of 48 children. All of the employees requesting assistance are women, and they come from 15 departments and clinics throughout Jefferson Healthcare.
Thank you again for checking in with us about this situation and for the care and attention of AAUW on this issue and beyond.