Saint Francis Honored with 2022 Kasten Award

Saint Francis Healthcare System was honored with the 2022 Kasten Award from Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri.

The Kasten Award is the highest honor given to a Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri (CPSEMO) member, named after the founder and former Missouri State Representative, Mary Kasten. The annual award recipient is an individual or organization that exemplifies strength and commitment to the community and whose work is recognized as a building block of support for CPSEMO.

“Saint Francis is honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Jimmy Wilferth, Vice President of Foundation and Marketing at Saint Francis. “We are honored and called to serve the ‘least of these’ in our community, following in the footsteps of our Catholic Franciscan Christian forefathers and tradition. It is our great privilege to come alongside community organizations like CPSEMO and support their mission to improve the lives of the community we care for so deeply.”

Saint Francis extends its healing ministry beyond the walls of the Healthcare System through community sponsorship and projects, including homeless housing, feeding programs and South Side Farms. For more than five years, Saint Francis has provided shelter for homeless residents in collaboration with CPSEMO. At Jefferson Elementary School, Saint Francis has addressed food insecurity through the weekend backpack program and Summer Tiger Bites Feeding Program for five years. School children and their families receive food throughout the school year and summer.

A new planned development community initiative, South Side Farms is a working urban farm in south Cape Girardeau. Catalyzed by Saint Francis and overseen by the community, the project aims to positively impact economic development, food access and employment opportunities for long-term health and wellbeing by providing job training and educational opportunities to the surrounding community.

“The Kasten Award is our highest honor, selected by our staff and awarded to a person or organization whose vision and actions for our community align with our own,” said Dr. Melissa Stickel, Executive Director of Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri. “Through financial support and numerous community projects, Saint Francis Healthcare System has a passion for Southeast Missouri and continues to profoundly impact the lives of individuals, children and families. We could not think of a better recipient for this year’s award.”