Thrive by IU Health

January 04, 2022

Team Member Support Fund builds cycle of gratitude and giving

IU Health Blackford Hospital

Team Member Support Fund builds cycle of gratitude and giving

Jennifer Henry and Britny High know what it’s like to come full circle, thanks to Indiana University Health Foundation’s Team Member Support Fund (TMSF)—a unique fund that provides assistance to IU Health  team members who are experiencing unexpected financial emergencies, such as an overdue electric bill, rent payment or car repair.

Henry, manager of surgical and outpatient services at IU Health Blackford Hospital, has journeyed a long way from her role as a surgical assistant in 2004. Early in her career, as a single mom supporting two children, Henry was in need of help. A manager recognized her struggle and signed her up for a holiday helper program to ensure Henry’s kids would wake up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

Center: Jennifer Henry, manager of surgical and outpatient services at IU Health Blackford Hospital

“It was very heartwarming to know that somebody cared, and that community members were willing to purchase gifts for someone they didn’t even know,” she recalls.

When Henry learned of the TMSF, a program similar to the holiday assistance initiative that helped her, she knew she had to support it.

And this year, thanks to generous donors like Henry, the IU Health east central region is projected to collect its highest number of team member gifts to date, resulting in more team members being helped when they need it most—team members like Britny High.

High is a recent recipient of the Fund’s support. As a new employee in outpatient registration at IU Health Blackford Hospital, her supervisor made her aware that the TMSF could help her with minor expenses, like gas money, while she waited for her first paycheck.

Britny High and her family

After speaking with an IU Health Foundation representative and sharing her family’s situation, it was recommended she apply for the full grant amount.

Once she was approved, High says, “I just sat in my car and cried for a little bit. Because it was incredibly helpful at a time that I didn't even realize was stressful. It paid for my gas, but I was also able to buy a couple of Christmas presents for my kids and pay our electric bill on time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it really allowed us to catch up.”

And now, since receiving help from the TMSF a little over a year ago, High herself has become a donor.

“Personally, it is such a great feeling of blessing and gratitude. I struggled. And now I can help the next person who’s struggling. I would never have been able to do this without the Team Member Support Fund,” says High.

For both Henry and High, coming full circle isn’t the end. It’s simply the continuation of a cycle of giving.

You can help support that cycle of giving by making a gift to the Team Member Support Fund. Donations from community members ensure that our frontline heroes are able to show up to work healthy and focused on delivering the best care to patients. When prompted, select "IU Health Statewide" as your location, then direct your gift to "Statewide Team Member Support Fund."