Women’s Leadership Initiative


Kimberly Ivester speaking at the 2013 Power of the Purse event.

 Kimberly Ivester, UnityPoint – St. Luke’s
Vice Chair: Jo Ellen Haddad, Aging Services

The Women’s Leadership Initiative unites the caring power of women to provide funding for health care services for women in need.

All women have the opportunity to access health care information and services.

The Initiative
There are nearly 5,000 low-income, uninsured women in east central Iowa. United Way partners with the Community Health Free ClinicEastern Iowa Health Center and Linn County Public Health to provide over 3,600 basic health services to women in need including:  prescription assistance, emergency dental care, eye care, medical co-pays, cancer screenings and diabetic testing supplies. Together we can help even more women in need.

Join Women’s Leadership!

In 2013, we had 306 members, who raised $183,160 to support this initiative allowing us to hit the $1 million dollar mark for total dollars raised since 2006 for women’s health issues.  During the 2012 campaign, 303 women chose to become members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. In total, they provided $176,866 to support WLI’s mission. In 2011, we had 314 members, who raised $190,966 to support this initiative.

For a designated gift of $500 or more, current members and other interested individuals can be a part of this exceptional, talented group of women leaders. Your investment to the WLI will support women’s health project in our community.  List of current WLI members

If you would like more information on becoming a leadership giver, contact Hilery Livengood  at (319) 398-5372 ext. 818 or email at hilery.livengood@uweci.org

Prior chairs

2013/2014 - Lisa Henderson, Alliant Energy
2012/2013 - Ashley Ernst, Skywalk Group
2011/2012 – Sue Lowder, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
2010 – Sue Lowder, Ashley Ernst
2009 – Kathy Krusie
2008 – Laura Dement


Volunteer to support a WLI partner

In addition to providing funding for health care services for women in need there is an opportunity for Women’s Leadership members to volunteer their time at the Community Health Free Clinic. To learn more about volunteering to support a WLI initiatives click here.

Women Helping Women

In fiscal year 2013, the Women’s Leadership Initiative distributed $169,280 to our three community partners:

  • 1,964 women received 4,951 prescriptions
  • 853 women received funds for their medical co-pays
  • 140 women received durable medical supplies to meet their healthcare needs
  • 63 women received eye exams, and 73 received eye glasses
  • 85 received emergency dental services, and 347 had regular dental services
  • 108 women received diabetic testing supplies

A Steering Committee of 17 women provides leadership for WLI’s efforts. Ashley Ernst of Skywalk Group chaired the committee in Fiscal Year 2013. As of July 2013,

Kimberly Ivester from UnityPoint - St. Luke’s chairs the WLI Steering Committee.

2013 Members

2012 Members