In order to promote female entrepreneurship, Saint Mary’s College created the Women’s Entrepreneurial Initiative (WEI), a program designed to assist current female-owned and operated small businesses and create an interest in entrepreneurship among women, Susan Vance, senior project director for WEI and professor at the College said.In order to help execute the program, the College hired Martha Smith, a local business owner and program director for WEI. Smith has first-hand experience in entrepreneurship.Vance said she hopes the program will become a helpful resource for local businesses.Smith also wants to see the program reach out to female entrepreneurs.“[I hope the program will] provide a forum or a home for businesswomen to come and network and obtain resources and information to run a smoother operation if they already have a business,” Smith said.Smith said she also wanted to see WEI create an interest in owning a business within the College community.According to Vance, the College was awarded a $245,000 Small Business Administration two-year grant to support WEI in October 2009. Since that time the College has worked to aid local female business owners.Vance said the program has a two-part focus.“One part is externally, in the community, we want to be really viewed as the go-to place,” Vance said. “If you’re a woman and you want to start a small business or you want to launch a small business we want you to think about Saint Mary’s as the first place to go to.”Vance said the second part of the program was to focus on educating students about entrepreneurship.“We also are very interested in our Saint Mary’s women as well,” she said. “So what we want to do is engage the Saint Mary’s women with those women within the community, those women business owners. Also in addition to that we want to get students excited about starting their own businesses.”During the Spring 2010 semester, WEI offered a Small Business Consulting course where teams of students were paired with local female-owned companies. During the partnerships, students worked to create plans for better efficiency for the companies.According to Smith, one team of students was able to help a company create better efficiency with a computer program.Smith said Saint Mary’s senior Kathleen Mills was able to simplify a major computer issue at Nicholas J Salon and Spa in South Bend.Smith said Mills and her team of three other students were able to transform a computer task that originally took five hours into a 30 second job.“There was a success story, one of the students solved a problem for a local business owner. [The company] had asituation with the computers and it was taking them five hours to do a job,” Smith said.Smith owns two businesses of her own — a mini storage unit company and a textile company. Both businesses are in the Michiana area. According to Vance, Smith is a valuable asset to the program because she has the capabilities to assist in reaching out to the Latina women interested in entrepreneurship.“I can relate to other women business owners,” Smith said. “I sort of feel their pain and there’s a kinship.”Vance said the College has created a new course that will be supported by the grant. The New Ventures course will allow groups of students to create their own business. Vance will be teaching the course. Students will be responsible for creating their product or service, marketing it to the local community and running the company. Students will be required to take the course for two semesters, and at the end of the second semester they will create an exit strategy and close their company.The money that students have earned from their business will go towards paying of the start-up loan they received at the beginning of the course. After they have paid off their loan, students will donate the money to local charities.Vance said New Ventures will be offered for the first time during the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters.
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces Committee to Address Maternal Mortality October 02, 2018 Human Services, Press Release, Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the creation of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. The committee is the result of Act 24, which the governor signed into law in May.“With the alarming rate of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania, establishing this committee will help take immediate action in determining the reasons for this phenomenon and, more importantly, help to develop prevention recommendations,” Governor Wolf said. “I’m pleased to announce the comprehensive and distinguished list of committee members who I am confident will bring their expertise with a shared goal of determining how to address the growing concern of maternal mortality in Pennsylvania.”“Maternal deaths have been rising in the United States since 2000 and we need to understand why,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Maternal mortality has particularly been a problem in minority populations. This committee features experts in maternal health from across the commonwealth and will help us as we work to take immediate action to reverse this trend.”The committee, as directed by Act 24 of 2018, must include at least 15 members, and will conduct multidisciplinary reviews of maternal deaths and develop recommendations to prevent future maternal deaths in Pennsylvania.Members of the committee are identified as follows, including their name, specialty and county:Valerie Arkoosh, Specialist, Delaware CountyBetty J. Baxter, Registered Nurse, Allegheny CountyJason K. Baxter, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Philadelphia CountyStacy Beck, Secretary of Health Appointment, Allegheny CountyKay-Ella Bleecher, Emergency Medical Service Provider, York CountySonya Borrero, Specialist, Allegheny CountyCarolyn Byrnes, Secretary of Health Appointment, Dauphin CountyJoanne D. Craig, Social Worker/Social Service Provider, Delaware CountyAntoine B. Douainy, Addiction Medicine Specialist, Allegheny CountyAmanda Flicker, Obstetrician, Lehigh CountyJulia A. Greenawalt, Registered Nurse, Indiana CountySam P. Gulino, Medical Examiner or Coroner, Philadelphia CountyRoy Hoffman, Specialist, Philadelphia CountySarah S. Kawasaki, Addiction Medicine Specialist, Dauphin CountyDara Mendez, Health Statistician, Allegheny CountyNancy A. Niemczyk, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Allegheny CountyKaren Pollack, Secretary of Health Appointment, Philadelphia CountyStefanie B. Porges, Emergency Medical Service Provider, Philadelphia CountyJessica L. Riley, Specialist, York CountyLoren Robinson, Secretary of Health Appointment, Philadelphia CountyPatricia M. Ross, Medical Examiner or Coroner, Blair CountyBette C. Saxton, Social Worker/Social Service Provider, Luzerne CountyDavid F. Silver, Psychiatrist, Philadelphia CountyNazanin E. Silver, Psychiatrist, Philadelphia CountySindhu Srinvias, Obstetrician, Philadelphia CountySteven Smith, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Montgomery CountyTara Trego, Department of Health Bureau of Family Health, Allegheny CountyChristina Vandepol, Medical Examiner or Coroner, Chester CountyAmy Whitstel, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Allegheny CountyDannai Wilson, Secretary of Health Appointment, Allegheny CountyFor more information about maternal and family health, visit www.health.pa.gov or follow the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter.