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Help Somebody Hall of Fame Spotlight: Lisa Hardy, Postpartum Support Virginia

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in RVA.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference locally.  This month, we are recognizing Lisa Hardy, RN, who is a volunteer with Postpartum Support Virginia – a nonprofit whose mission is to help new mothers and their families overcome postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Adrienne Griffen, the Founder & Executive Director of Postpartum Support Virginia shared that, “Lisa is the most thoughtful, energetic, enthusiastic, and selfless of volunteers. She gives freely of her off-duty time to be sure that moms she knows are struggling get connected with resources. She provides hope and help for new mothers and families, ensuring that moms and babies get off to a good start in life.”

Lisa leads a support group for women experiencing postpartum depression and related perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). PMADs are the number one complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting at least 1 in 5 new mothers. Lisa knows firsthand about PMADs as she survived postpartum depression and anxiety when her son was born 18 years ago. Lisa’s experience led her to a career in nursing (she is a nurse at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, delivering babies and helping women become new mothers) and eventually to find Postpartum Support Virginia to learn more about PMADs.

Lisa single-handedly has changed the way St. Francis addresses PMADs. In the last two years, Lisa has started a twice-monthly support group for women experiencing PMADs, taught other nurses how to discuss these illnesses with new mothers and how to screen for them, and provided training sessions to obstetricians and pediatricians so they can also screen new mothers.  The St. Francis support group has met every two weeks without fail for 18 months, providing direct support to 25 new mothers.

The photo was taken at AWOHNN in June of 2018. AWOHNN is the national conference for women’s health where Lisa did a presentation for what St Francis Medical Center is doing with support groups for moms with perinatal mood disorders.

Medical professionals who once were fearful of discussing mental health issues with their maternity patients now have the education, skills, and resources to address these important issues head-on. Doctors who told Lisa that this couldn’t be done now fully support these important initiatives.

Lisa gives freely and generously of her time, following up with new mothers who are struggling with anxiety or depression, supporting them in person as well as via phone, text, and email. Lisa has taken her personal experience with postpartum depression and anxiety to create a system of support for new moms and families.

Lisa’s generosity of time and talent has resulted in tangible impact, locally and across Virginia.  Now, all women who deliver babies at Bon Secours St Francis Medical Center (approximately 1,800 each year) are screened for postpartum depression and related illnesses prior to discharge from the hospital.  Treating postpartum depression saves money. The cost of not treating these issues is $22,000 per mother/infant pair, so screening and treating these illnesses saves Lisa’s hospital almost $9 million a year.  Other hospitals in the Bon Secours Health System are following Lisa’s lead by implementing support groups and screening women, including St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News.

About the Help Somebody Hall of Fame

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame is a platform to express gratitude for a person in the community who acts selflessly to improve the lives of others.  We want to share these stories in hope of inspiring more people in Greater Richmond to act with generosity.  There will be random drawing each quarter from those who are honored, and two honorees will select a nonprofit of their choice to receive $1000.  Read more about how to nominate someone here.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Beth Ayn Stansfield, Founder, Stay Strong Virginia

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in RVA.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference. In December, we are recognizing Beth Ayn Stansfield, who is the founder of Stay Strong Virginia – a nonprofit whose mission is to expand and enhance the existing services to those impacted by an eating disorder in the State of Virginia by raising awareness, education and providing direct support with respect and empathy.

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The Help Somebody Hall of Fame: Gail Crawford, MAD4YU

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in our RVA community.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members.  This month, we’re recognizing Gail Crawford, Founder and President of Making a Difference For You (MAD4YU) - a grass-roots nonprofit organization providing life enrichment services to under-resourced and ‘fringe’ populations.  The name reflects its very purpose:  making a difference for you.  That is – providing the tools for success – using computer literacy and study skills as the catalyst– to equip those who otherwise might not have access.

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Help Somebody Hall of Fame: Nancy Rossner, Community Tax Law Project

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in our RVA community.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members.  This month, we’re recognizing Nancy Rossner – a staff attorney at the Community Tax Law Project (CTLP). The CTLP provides free legal help to Virginia’s low wage families and individuals experiencing economic harm because of a tax problem. Their services directly strengthen the financial stability of working families and ensure that all Virginians receive fair and equal treatment in tax disputes.  Nancy’s colleague nominated her for this recognition (but asked to be anonymous) and said, “I am constantly amazed by Nancy's dedication to her work assisting our clients with their complicated tax issues.  Not only does she handle a very high level of cases at all times, but she does so with such passion, conviction, and an extremely high level of professionalism.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Marta Lefleor, The McShin Foundation

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in RVA.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference. This month, we are recognizing an avid volunteer and board member at The McShin Foundation – Marta Lefleor.  The McShin Foundation is a recovery resource foundation whose mission is to deliver a message of hope to individuals with a Substance Use Disorder and to facilitate their journey to a healthier life.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Angela Harper, Northstar Academy

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in our RVA community.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference. This month, we’re recognizing Angela Harper – an IEP/IAP Liaison at Northstar Academy.  Northstar Academy is a unique and highly successful non-profit school serving children in grades K-12. They promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with disabilities who have academic, physical and social challenges.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Shandra Thompson, Director of Operations and Programs, Dress for Success Central Virginia

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in our RVA community.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members.  This month, we’re recognizing Shandra Thompson – a staff member at Dress for Success Central Virginia.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Kris Folgner, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond

How does Kris demonstrate the spirit of the “Help Somebody Hall of Fame”?  Kris serves as one of our House Volunteers at RMHC Richmond. Our House Volunteers help with the day to day tasks to keep our house operations running smoothly for up to 9 families to stay per night who have a child receiving medical treatment in Richmond. For the past 2 years, Kris has dedicated 3 hours every Wednesday to RMHC Richmond which has totaled in over 220 hours.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Sam Baronian Jr., Board President, The READ Center

We love sharing stories and examples of people giving back in our community – investing their time, talent or treasure with local organizations.  Sam Baronian Jr. is a shining example of this and was selected to be inducted into the “Help Somebody Hall of Fame” for February 2018! Lisa Fitz-Coy, Marketing and Development Assistant for The READ Center nominated him, saying that he is a very “accessible and active” Board President.  Executive Director for the READ Center, Karen La Forge, agrees saying, “Sam is one of the most committed and caring Board members I have ever worked with. His greatest strength as a board member is his ability and willingness to connect READ to other organizations and individuals in the community for partnerships, funding and awareness.” Read more about Sam and his work with READ:

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Michelle Smith, World Pediatric Project

At the Community Foundation and ConnectVA, we are so excited to share more stories of individuals in our community lending a hand to help another through the Help Somebody Hall of Fame.  As in 2017, we are accepting nominations from the community at large and will highlight a compelling submission each month.  Once a quarter, we will select (at random) two people to receive a $1000 grant made in their name to give to a local nonprofit of their choosing. This month we are highlighting Michelle Smith, a volunteer at World Pediatric Project.   World Pediatric Project (WPP) heals critically ill children and builds indigenous healthcare capacity in developing nations. Michelle was nominated anonymously by a WPP staff member, who says, Michelle is “one in a million” and wanted to thank her for her service.  Here’s more about Michelle’s incredible contributions to this local nonprofit and our community:

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