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Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2011

Role and impact of philanthropy to be featured at inaugural conference

Oct. 10, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Philanthropy's power to transform lives and better the world will take center stage at the inaugural Indianapolis Women's Philanthropy Council conference on Oct. 21 in Indianapolis. Open to all, the event offers a day of philanthropic exploration and education, networking with a community of citizens committed to the role of philanthropy in local and global issues, and the opportunity to engage with Indiana University on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Women's Philanthropy

The keynote session will focus on the role of philanthropy in preventing, treating and curing breast cancer. Patricia R. Miller, president and co-owner of Vera Bradley Designs and former Indiana Secretary of Commerce, will join renowned breast cancer specialist and IU School of Medicine professor George W. Sledge Jr., M.D., (via video) and Heidi Floyd, cancer survivor and spokesperson for the Vera Bradley Foundation, in a session that will demonstrate the far-reaching impact of philanthropy on those who study and treat the disease and those who benefit from their work. Sandra Petronio, Ph.D., professor in the Schools of Liberal Arts and of Medicine at IUPUI, will moderate the panel.

IU Trustee MaryEllen Kiley Bishop will moderate a panel of donors, students and founding members of the Women's Philanthropy Council. Panel members will examine the role philanthropy plays in their own lives, exploring both their motivations for giving and the life-changing effects it has had on them.

The conference will also feature a session on the IU-Kenya Partnership, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), to be moderated by Robert L. Smith, senior director of corporate responsibility and community relations at Eli Lilly and Co. A product of the 20-plus-year partnership between the IU School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya, AMPATH was launched in 2001 to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. It has since been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize and received recognition as an international paradigm for healthcare. Joe Mamlin, M.D., field director of AMPATH and emeritus professor of medicine at both the IU School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine, as well as others closely involved in the program, will speak about transformations in health care in Kenya and their influence around the world.

Reservations for the event, which will take place at University Place Conference Center and Hotel on the IUPUI campus, 850 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis, will be accepted through Friday (Oct. 14) and can be made online at Space is limited.

The $35 fee includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with the program scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

About the Indiana University Women's Philanthropy Council:

Convened by the IU Foundation Board of Directors in 2010, the WPC's mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to IU, and to develop women leaders in philanthropy. For more on the WPC and its founding, go to