September 19, 2011

Heartland CARES of Paducah and Janet Isenhour, executive director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, have been selected as recipients of awards to be presented by the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, an outreach program of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. The awards will be presented during the ninth annual Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum luncheon Oct. 27 at the Lexington Convention Center.

Heartland CARES is the winner of the 2011 Fifth Third Bank Innovative Nonprofit Award.  The nonprofit organization provides comprehensive, client-centered, quality health care, support services, prevention education and HIV testing for many rural areas. Primary care is provided to people living with HIV and AIDS; support services are provided to clients and their families. Prevention education and testing are provided to clients, their families and the community.  

Heartland CARES serves over 43 counties, 26 in Western Kentucky and 17 in Southern Illinois. Heartland CARES was selected for the award because of its collaborative efforts with other organizations in the region allow for a “one-stop-shop” approach to integrating medical care and social services supports for the benefit of clients.

The Kentucky Nonprofit Network in partnership with Fifth Third Bank created the Innovative Nonprofit Award to recognize a Kentucky nonprofit organization implementing inventive, nontraditional programs or methods that effectively meet community needs. The award winner was required to demonstrate creativity and vision in finding unique solutions to their community’s issues.  

Isenhour is the recipient of the 2011 Energy Insurance Agency and Travelers Insurance Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award.  Isenhour is retiring as the executive director of the Carnegie Center after 13 years in that position and nearly 20 years with the organization.  Under her leadership, the center has become more financially self-sufficient, utilized unique resources to focus on youth and family services; created programs geared toward “lifelong learning” for adults; and engaged the community in the literary arts.

Isenhour’s accomplishments, both personal and professional, have been recognized through numerous awards, most recently as a Leading Woman of Central Kentucky by Women Leading Kentucky.  At the Carnegie Center, she teaches a weekly writing class as well as co-teaches the Nonfiction Writing Group.  She also coordinates the Kentucky Great Writers Series, a literary arts series that showcases the work of writers with a Kentucky connection.  She is the director of the center’s Laurie S. Bottoms Gallery, coordinating six to eight exhibits per year. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from UK and has taught writing classes at both UK and Transylvania University.  While at UK, she was twice winner of the award for the Outstanding part-time Instructor, and with art historian Jane Peters, was the first recipient of the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. She was chosen for the 2011 Energy Insurance and Travelers Insurance Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award for her ability to build strong relationships with donors and Kentucky’s community of writers, create community partnerships and model personal values, ethical behavior and integrity.

The Energy Insurance Agency and Travelers Insurance Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership among Kentucky nonprofit chief executives. The award recognizes achievement in the areas of strategic leadership, community building, ethical integrity, innovation and commitment to strengthening the nonprofit sector.

The Kentucky Nonprofit Network is the state association of nonprofit organizations. It serves and strengthens Kentucky’s nonprofit sector through educational opportunities, consulting services and resources for organizations and their leaders.  

Early registration for the Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum is open until Sept. 23, and the registration deadline is Oct. 14.  Tickets to the award luncheon are available.  Additional information is available at or by calling 859-257-2542.