Stephanie Fendrick

Meet Stephanie Fendrick!

Tell us about yourself. This community has been my home for most of my life. While I moved away for about 15 years, I was raised here, met my husband Jeff here, and moved back here to raise our 3 children – Leah (28), Molly (26) and Isaac (23). My commitment to this community is both personal and professional: I have worked at Virtua Health for over 21 years in a variety of roles and keep front and center the people who live here and need care. As the Chief Strategy Officer at Virtua Health, I am in a position that allows me to continually evaluate how Virtua can bring more healthcare services to everyone in our community. This means understanding barriers to care and societal drivers of health – including food, transportation, job status, safety, social support, and housing. In order to help individuals achieve their optimal health, organizations in the community need to find ways to collaborate and partner with a goal of addressing health equity. JFCS addresses many of these needs and is a vital resource in our community.

What first brought you to our agency? I was first exposed to JFCS through my niece, who encouraged my children to become involved with TOPS as teenagers. I saw how much fun they all had playing basketball on Monday evenings and the impact of the program on all of the participants. As my children got older, I wanted to get more involved in our community, and it was through Margie Dannenbaum, who was the Board President at the time, that I was first introduced to the Counseling Committee. About a year later, I joined the JFCS Board.

Why are the mission and work of JFCS so vital for our community? JFCS’s mission is to optimize the well-being of individuals in our community through the provision of accessible social services. The flagship programs focus on significant challenges in our community – food insecurity, lack of transportation, domestic violence, trauma, isolation, mental health, and the needs of individuals with disabilities. These programs support some of the most vulnerable in our community with professionals who are caring, committed, and experts in their field. JFCS also provides numerous ways for community members to volunteer their time, resources, and talent to be a part of this meaningful work. Lives are enriched for the people who serve and are served by their experiences with JFCS.

What have you learned from being involved with JFCS? While I have been on the Board for about two years, I continue to learn about the ways JFCS touches the lives of people in our community, and I have marveled at how JFCS responds to crises. I appreciate having a front row seat to the deep and authentic commitment of the leadership team to what they do and how they do it. With health equity being a major strategy at Virtua, I was able to bring my professional and personal worlds together as JFCS has become an important resource for Virtua patients. I am grateful for the role JFCS plays in elevating the lives of individuals in our community, and for me personally, allowing me to feel connected to this purpose.