When Laura Holderfield goes to her job as Commonwealth Health Foundation executive director, she feels like she’s with family.
“I feel like when I’m coming to work, I’m coming home,” she said.
For four years she has been in charge of the philanthropic arm of Commonwealth Health Corp., the parent company of The Medical Center.
“Any fundraising that goes on for CHC or its entities comes through our office,” she said.
Since the foundation started in 2000, it has coordinated various campaigns, including the Charity Ball and the “Make the Season Bright” program, both of which are designed to raise awareness and financial support for the Commonwealth Free Clinic. The foundation recently kicked off the public capital campaign “Extending Home,” which will be used to help build, furnish and staff a 12,564-square-foot Hospitality House on The Medical Center campus. The building will be a home away from home for the family of seriously ill patients at The Medical Center and Commonwealth Regional Specialty Hospital.
“It’s the first capital campaign we have coordinated,” she said. “We’re offering people an opportunity for investment. We’re going to be able to see a building being constructed.”
Holderfield, a Bowling Green native and mother of two sons, didn’t set out to work in health care when she was thinking about a career. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University, respectively.
“My goal was to manage a business and to be in some large corporation to use the skills I learned in school,” she said.
Holderfield has been able to use what she learned in past jobs, which include working with United Way and St. Joseph Catholic School, and her current job. She manages the foundation and its activities and projects.
“We spent January closing out our fundraising year and planning for the next year,” she said. “It’s different every day.”
She has helped the foundation garner grants, including a nearly $25,000 grant from Kohl’s Cares for Kids, which is being used for safety items for parents in The Medical Center’s Newborn Care and Safety Class and to bring additional Newborn Care and Safety Classes to the community. One class is scheduled at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green later this month.
“It has been a goal for several years for the obstetrics department,” Holderfield said of the new class.
A $362,675.25 grant from the Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation was used for new electric beds and a new nurse call system for Cal Turner Extended Care Pavilion in 2007.
“It was exciting because it was something that helped patients,” she said. “It gave them more independence.”
Holderfield said her favorite part of her career is that it combines the business side with getting to know other people.
“I love to get to know new people that I would never get to meet otherwise and being a part of an organization that has done so much for the community,” she said. “I feel blessed to be able to do what I do. I feel honored to be a part of it.”