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NKY Woman to be Honored for Contributions to Community Health

When it comes to offering the best health care to residents of Northern Kentucky, it has to be rooted in the people. That’s what inspired Julie Dusing to become a volunteer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare more than 15 years ago.

“A hospital touches so many people at different stages in their lives,” said Dusing. “It’s a place where you might experience the most dreaded or happiest moments of your life. I had my three children at St. Elizabeth, and the people I’ve met from being a patient and a volunteer are the best people.”

Dusing will receive the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Henrietta Cleveland Inspiring Women Award on April 21 at the Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards banquet at Receptions in Erlanger.

“Julie truly believes in making a difference for people in our community,” said Sarah Giolando, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “She embodies the same values as our founder, Henrietta Cleveland, and demonstrates the positive impact that strong women leaders can have on our community.”

Dusing started volunteering at St. Elizabeth as a recent college graduate in 1998. “I was approached by a family friend to join a new young professionals group,” said Dusing. “Since then, I’ve served on committees and managed events, but I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in the bigger picture of making our community a stronger, more vibrant and healthier place.”

Dusing was instrumental in launching St. Elizabeth’s women’s giving group, The Gift of Health, which involves women as philanthropic leaders and funds critical health care needs. She served as chair for five years and fought to build a program where members feel empowered and informed by choosing initiatives and programs to fund.

“Two words can help to describe Julie Dusing: a giver and an advocate,” said Larry Warkoczeski, vice president of the St. Elizabeth Foundation. “She has been a giving visionary and supporter for The Gift of Health and a strong advocate for diversity and engaging women in the community. Instead of accepting life as it is, Julie is one of those individuals who seeks to build a better tomorrow, a better community.”

During a recent behind-the-scenes event for volunteers and donors, Dusing got to see the real work that happens at St. Elizabeth. “We toured everything from the NICU to the floor where they perform open heart surgeries,” said Dusing. “I recently read a survey that said 70 percent of people do not find their work fulfilling. Based on my experience that day, the people at St. Elizabeth have to make up the 30 percent.”

Dusing, a financial advisor for Robert W. Baird & Co., was born in Northern Kentucky where she is raising her family. She said the resources and small-town feel are what kept her close. “We have lifesaving technology and access to state-of-the-art equipment,” said Dusing. “Yet despite all of that it’s the people that make the place so special.”

- Staff report/Photo: Julie Dusing (provided)