An Impassioned Advocate

Mediaon June 4th, 2018Comments Off on An Impassioned Advocate

Jeanette Altenau sits across from me in a tiny conference room.  As our eyes meet and we shake hands, I am struck by her warmth and enthusiasm. Jeanette is the Director of Community Relations at TriHealth, a well-known health care provider in Cincinnati and an important corporate partner to the Freestore Foodbank.  She is a familiar presence in the Freestore Foodbank office on Central Parkway – a valuable partner, a fierce advocate and a tireless source of ideas and suggestions.  Picking up my pen, I prepare for Jeanette to describe her connection to the Freestore Foodbank. “Be prepared for a long, impassioned account,” she warns with a smile. “I love long stories.”  I smile back in complete understanding, sensing the intensity of Jeanette’s commitment and eager to capture every bit of it.

Many years ago Jeanette worked at Channel 12 as Director of Strategic Community Initiatives. It was there that she was first introduced to the Freestore Foodbank’s events and programs. She got involved in all of them including the famous Rubber Duck Regatta. In 2013, when she accepted a position at TriHealth, she brought with her a host of relationships including the one with the Freestore Foodbank. “Today I manage about 500 relationships,” Jeanette says with aplomb. “TriHealth has a history and culture that values making a difference in the community.”  The health care provider views food inequity as a health issue and focuses on partnering strategically with organizations in the region to serve the community and produce positive outcomes.

TriHealth is the presenting sponsor for the Freestore Foodbank’s Taste of the NFL, Kick Hunger Challenge, and Healthy Harvest Mobile Market.   For Jeanette, partnering with the Freestore Foodbank is a personal and professional goal. “As a parent, I have a special passion for childhood hunger. I cannot imagine any parent, whether they have one child or ten, being unable to feed their hungry child. To me, that is unacceptable.” TriHealth employees also volunteer regularly at the Freestore Foodbank, helping to pack Power Packs. “The best part about this partnership is that we are assisting with a problem that we know how to solve,” Jeanette adds.

TriHealth focuses on investing strategically in the community. To this end, they partner with many, many organizations in the region. Jeanette herself serves on the Board of Directors of five organizations in the city.  As a result of their diversified involvement in the community, TriHealth is starting to see far-reaching benefits to their partnerships. “Our strategy has been to layer on services within the same community so that we can create a sustainable outcome,” explains Jeanette. For instance, we work closely with Cradle Cincinnati to positively impact infant mortality in the region. We also work with Marvin Lewis’s Learning is Cool program to improve the academic performance of children, and with Crayons and Computers to provide the same children with school supplies. We also partner with the Freestore Foodbank to make sure these kids receive Power Packs.” The goal is to continue to provide care and nourishment to an entire generation of kids within the community so that they have the resources they need to succeed. “TriHealth’s goal is to help a whole generation of children in order to be able to make a lasting impact that will carry on through several generations,” Jeanette adds.

As summer kicks off, TriHealth looks forward to months of fruitful collaboration with the Freestore Foodbank. “It is an honor for us to partner with an organization such as the Freestore Foodbank that is dedicated to the community and focused on changing lives,” Jeanette comments. The 16th Annual Taste of the NFL which is sponsored by TriHealth will be held on June 13, 2018. To learn more about this event, click here.