The 18th SmartWomen Event Goes Virtual


Just because there is a pandemic doesn’t mean uninsured and underinsured women don’t need important breast health services, so the St. Joseph’s/Candler Smart- Women event will take place virtually this year at

SmartWomen is an annual fundraiser for St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital, which includes the Mammography Fund at Telfair Pavilion that provides mammograms and other breast care services for those who cannot afford those life-saving services.

Usually, Smart- Women is a luncheon & expo with a nationally known speaker who inspires and enlightens the 1400 people who attend. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the SmartWomen committee decided to showcase 18 inspiring local women through video.

Last year Smart- Women raised $183,743 for uninsured and underinsured women to get the mammograms and breast health services they need.

In our region, approximately 25 percent of the population is uninsured or underinsured. The Telfair Mammography Fund ensures that all women have access to mammography and other services, even if they have no insurance or high deductibles or copays. It is actually the one fund that St. Joseph’s/Candler’s President & CEO Paul P. Hinchey likes to see depleted each year.

“Because that means that uninsured and underinsured women are getting their mammograms,” Hinchey says. “We do not want any woman in our region to miss getting their mammogram because they don’t have insurance. Each year this event helps fill that fund back up again.”

Past years’ luncheons have featured notable women such as Taya Kyle, Jane Seymour, Anne Burrell, Fran Drescher, Amy Grant, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Marilu Henner, Joan Lunden, Giuliana Rancic, Leigh Anne Tuohy, Olympia Dukakis, Ellen Burstyn, Peggy Fleming, Ivana Trump, Erin Brockovich, Suze Orman and author Mary Kay Andrews.

Normally, tickets or whole tables are available for purchase. Not this year, but you can still donate by going to

However COVID-19 cannot stop the annual Diamond Dig, thanks to another dazzling donation from Harkleroad Diamonds & Fine Jewelry. For only $25, participants can enter to win a stunning ring—a 2 CTW baguette and round diamond band in 14K white gold with a diamond quality of g-H SI1-SI2 that is valued at $6,500. The drawing is October 2, so go to to enter.

The SmartWomen media sponsors are WTOC, The Savannah Morning News and 98.7 The River.

In honor of the 18th year, St. Joseph’s/Candler will feature 18 smart women from right here in Savannah and the Low Country. Our area is blessed with some of the most creative, charismatic, bright, and resilient women in the country. They will speak to you just as our past keynotes have—telling their stories as only they can. But their talks will be in short videos, shared by our media partners and accessible anytime on our website throughout the month of September.

Each of these Smart Women will share their insight and knowledge, straight from the heart, in their own virtual vignettes: Bertice Berry, Captain Judy Helmey, Joanie Heyward, Shirley James, Sheryl Jones, Fran Kaminsky, Susan Ketchum, Dottie Kluttz, Kathy Levitt, Anne Read Lattimore, Emily McCarthy, Leslie Richardson, Sallie Ann Robinson, Malena Stone, Libbie Summers, Lindsay Thomas, Whitney Williams-Smith, and Melissa Yao Hille.

These women aren’t just notable, they’re also our neighbors. Their stories come from that special place we all share—our home in Savannah and the Low Country.

The Telfair Mammography Fund is refilled every year because of your support of SmartWomen. You can continue that support this year by making a donation easily online at

This year our goal is to raise $100,000 online through the generous supports of the community and sponsors.

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