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Women honored for volunteering, philanthropy

Mar. 02, 2013 @ 11:49 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Two women were honored Saturday by the Women's Philanthropy Society of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation for their commitment to excellence in volunteering and philanthropy.

Sarah Denman, the former provost at Marshall University, was given The Kitty Hage Lifetime Achievement Award, and Jane D'Egidio received the Focus Award.

Both women serve their communities by giving their time and money to a number of groups, including the hospital.

"I was sad because I thought there was no one to give (The Kitty Hage Lifetime Achievement Award) to this year," said Denman, who is on the committee but had to be kept in the dark about the process so it could be a surprise.

"In Ceredo-Kenova, you were raised to serve and taught that at the end of your life, you didn't want to look back and see you didn't serve," Denman said.

She and D'Egidio, who established an official volunteer group for the cancer center when it opened about six years ago, were presented with their awards during the society's annual luncheon at Guyan Golf and Country Club. The luncheon also serves as an an appreciation to the women in the society, each of whom pays $100 a year for membership. That money, more than $26,000 this year, goes to support women's and children's health care needs at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Those needs have included a new unit for babies born addicted to opiates because their mothers used illicit drugs during the pregnancy. Dr. Sean Loudin, a neonatologist, discussed the disturbing trend they are seeing at the hospital, where 192 babies out of about 2,600 born there in 2012 were born addicted to a substance, much higher than the national rate.

Loudin thanked the Women's Philanthropy Society for its financial generosity in helping both the babies and the mothers.

"We're trying to come up with new and innovative ways to help the mothers, and we are focusing our efforts on the babies when they are born," he said.

For more information about the society, visit http://cabellhuntington.org/foundation/womens-philanthropy-society/ or call 304-526-6314.

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