Prior to moving to DC and becoming a freelancer, I worked in marketing at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. This experience helped open doors in DC, where I was able to work on a number of projects for the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (CFNCR). I wrote the quarterly newsletter for CFNCR for nearly three years, and also worked on several special reports and marketing pieces. In 2005, I wrote five donor profiles for CFNCR’s annual report, and also worked with the president and CEO on crafting her letter for the report.
I always enjoy writing profiles, and I particularly enjoyed working on this group of profiles because I had great conversations with some really committed, visionary philanthropists who do much of their giving through the community foundation. One of the profiles was of Joe and Lynne Horning, longtime DC philanthropists who focus much of their charitable investments on neighborhood revitalization.
The biggest challenge of profiles like these is length: when you are talking with dynamic people who have been doing good work for decades, it’s hard to boil it down to a one page story! However, the design concept called for full-page black and white “hero” shots, which I think were very powerful – so I was committed to the concept of crafting short profiles that conveyed key messages and worked in combination with the images on a single spread. Each profile had a key word as its title – for the Hornings, that word was “transforming.” Click here or on the image of the profile to download the story as a PDF.
For the past three years, I’ve had the good fortune to write the Nursing Annual Report for Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas. This is one of my favorite projects because the nurses at SMMC are really committed and caring, so it’s a pleasure to interview them and find out about new programs and their ongoing efforts to implement and fine tune best practices in patient care.
I’m originally from the Kansas City area, where SMMC is located, so sometimes I’m able to conduct interviews while I’m visiting home, but the majority of the interviews are conducted by phone. The report is published each year in late April to coincide with National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 to May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday). Among other things, it is used as a recruiting tool for new nurses.
For the 2010 report, I wrote five articles of varying lengths, and also worked with Sheri Hawkins, the Nursing CEO, on crafting her letter for the front of the report. The primary focus of the 2010 report was patient safety, including topics like bedside communication and fall prevention. I think my favorite story to write was about simulation drills in the perinatal and progressive care units using a high-tech medical mannequin. You can download that two-page story here (PDF), or click on the cover image to the right to download the full report and see the complete package of stories.
I’m currently gathering information and starting to write articles for the 2011 report. This year’s report revolves around teamwork. As always, the nurses and other staff at SMMC are a joy to work with, and I’m looking forward to telling their stories.