Pediatrics career provides skills, motivation for CASA grant writer

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‘Child abuse and neglect are heavy burdens to bear,’ Stevenson says

By Becca Owsley

Even away from her career as a pediatrician, Anne Stevenson is using her skills to help kids.


After taking a leave of absence from her practice to stay home with her own children, Stevenson became involved as a grant writer with Court Appointed Special Advocates — a group of trained volunteers who act on behalf of children caught up in the justice system because of family matters.

Her involvement began at her last pediatrician meeting at Hardin Memorial Hospital before she began leave. Sylvia Griendling, CASA executive director, spoke and was looking for pediatricians to join the board.

Having witnessed a few child abuse cases in her practice, Stevenson decided to volunteer.

“It seemed like what I needed to do,” she said. “The timing was uncanny.”

With a flexible schedule, she is able to write grants while her children are at school. She recently finished a United Way grant and has written other applications including local grants and some from the national branch of CASA. A lot of the funding for CASA comes in the form of grants.

Child welfare professionals in this community do an awesome job protecting children in the area, she said.

“However, child abuse and neglect are heavy burdens to bear,” she said. “When others in the community can support their efforts through programs like CASA, we can strengthen the safety net for these vulnerable children.”

Four years ago, in the first year she was on CASA’s board, seven children were served through the organization. Last year, 97 children in the Hardin County court system because of abuse or neglect were served, she said.

“We are not reaching everyone, but we are getting closer,” she said.

Stevenson’s personal experience with abused children helps overcome the occasional tedium of grant writing.

As a pediatrician, she was able to see what she described as a “hidden problem” in communities.

Through the years, she’s seen more and more abuse cases and said the number correlates with drug abuse rates.

Griendling said Stevenson’s experience as a pediatrician helped her with grant writing for CASA.

“She has done an amazing job with grants,” Griendling said.

Stevenson’s work at CASA has been a good fit after leaving her medical practice, Griendling said.

“Anne has done incredible work with CASA,” she said. “I just love her.”

Leaving clinical medicine was a hard decision and she misses seeing the families she worked with, she said. She worked in an underserved clinic in Louisville and then at Kosair Community Medical Associates in Elizabethtown for a slightly more than four years.

She thought about going back into clinical medicine but said she is “really enjoying being a mom right now.”

She can volunteer at St. James Catholic Regional School and see her children, Maddie and Jack, there. She is the room mom in Jack’s kindergarten class and volunteers in the school library. She enjoys being around kids and getting a peek into the lives of her children while she’s there.

She also was able to lead the Junior Achievement program for her daughter’s third-grade class last year.

The Stevensons moved to Elizabethtown nine years ago and decided it is a nice place to raise a family.

“We’ve really made this home,” she said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know Anne Stevenson

Every part. “It’s the best job ever,” she said.

  • Family: Husband, Scott, and children, Maddie and Jack
  • Favorite TV show: “Downton Abbey”
  • Pet: George, a standard poodle
  • Favorite Music: Groups like U2 and country music
  • Hobbies: Hiking with her family, tennis lessons and raised-bed gardening
  • Books: She currently is reading “The Book Thief” and is reading the “Percy Jackson” series with her daughter.
  • Favorite part about being a mom: