Spotlight: Dr. Kathy Gaumer | Gala Honorary Co-chair
Newhouse’s signature Imagine a Day Gala on November 12 is an evening of entertainment and inspiration as we raise vital funds for our mission. Dr. Kathy and Mr. Doug Gaumer are honorary co-chairs of the event. We sat down with Dr. Gaumer, Medical Director/Owner of Regain Functional Medicine + Aesthetics, to learn more about her story and passion for supporting survivors of domestic violence. Meet Dr. Kathy Gaumer.
Dr. Kathy Gaumer has spent the last 30 years involved in women’s healthcare as a Board Certified OB/GYN, first in her private practice in Lawrence and now as an OB/GYN Hospitalist in the KC Metro. Dr. Gaumer has dealt with every aspect of women’s health from young women going through pregnancy and childbirth to menopause transitions.
Her work as an OB/GYN in the hospital, collaborating with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, has resulted in her helping patients who have suffered from sexual assault and intimate partner violence. She sees her role as more than just treating the physical wellbeing of her patients, but also looking at how to help her patients with whatever roadblocks they might encounter when they leave.
Connection to Newhouse
Dr. Gaumer was invited by Terri and Phil Thomas, last year’s honorary co-chairs, to join their table at the 2021 gala. Expecting it to be a similar experience to other galas she’s attended, with a silent auction, dinner and dancing. Instead she was blown away.
After the event Dr. Gaumer couldn’t wait to get involved with Newhouse, and after making the acquaintance of Chris Stibbs, Director of Philanthropic Engagement, and Courtney Thomas, President & CEO of Newhouse, she and her husband accepted the invitation to be honorary chairs for 2022.
As exciting as this opportunity was, she wanted to know how she could help professionally as well and asked about other opportunities she could be involved in advocating for survivors. Newhouse didn’t have any reliable medical liaisons and no form of transportation for their residents to get to appointments or work.
So Dr. Gaumer helped partner with Swope Health to bring mobile medical and dental units to the residents at Newhouse.
“We started with the children’s needs and hope to branch out to providing services for the adults as well. This has been a great first step in building a relationship and developing a medical home they can rely on. My husband, Doug, also worked with a local car dealership to secure a van to help residents have dependable transportation when they need to get to interviews and appointments.”
“Terri and I both live in Loch Lloyd and everyone loves to get together. So we thought, ‘Why don’t we attach a cause with it? Let’s make it mean something!’” In one instance they both gathered other friends and mothers together and had everyone bring cake mixes and gifts for Newhouse kids so that every child could celebrate their birthday!
Kathy has loved getting to know Courtney and the team at Newhouse and feels the weight of helping meet whatever needs arise. At the next gathering, “Cocktails for a Cause” they accepted donations of car seats, underclothes and socks to continue their support for Kansas City’s urban core.
Her passion for helping survivors
Dr. Gaumer feels that education around Newhouse and domestic violence within her community is one of the most important things she can contribute to helping survivors.
“There is a rather significant need here in Kansas City that is largely underfunded,” she says. “The work that Newhouse does truly makes a difference in the lives of survivors and helps families get back on their feet.”
She wants every current and future resident of Newhouse to know that the community’s support proves they are not alone, and that their life is just as valued and important as anyone else’s.
Her work for the 2022 Gala
Dr. Gaumer has been a huge advocate for gathering business leaders from all over the Kansas City area to support the mission of Newhouse. She has been at work leveraging her network to sponsor and attend this fall.
This includes personally inviting her whole staff at Regain Functional Medicine + Aesthetics to attend the Imagine a Day Gala and celebrate the work they do. And as an added thank you, she is throwing in hair, makeup, and hotel rooms for all the staff at Regain!
“Who doesn’t like to get dressed up — and have fun for an amazing cause? It’s not just a party, but we’re raising awareness and bringing in well-needed funds for a great cause.”
“It feels like the same people are asked to attend a lot of different galas throughout the year, but this is not like any they have ever been to. It’s way more personal and heartfelt. At the Imagine a Day Gala, you really feel like you actually know more about what people go through – from people who have actually gone through it. It’s really powerful! And you leave feeling like this was more than JUST a gala.”
For companies considering supporting Newhouse
“For a lot of businesses there are great incentives for donating to a charity (including tax write offs), and there are ways in recouping your sponsorship. Surprisingly, a lot of smaller businesses aren’t aware of the benefits of donating to a charity.
The incredible thing about KC is that people are very generous and a lot of our sponsors support numerous causes. We would never want to take away from any other organization that they are committed to supporting, but instead find ways in which they can designate an amount (any amount is welcome!) to Newhouse.”
Her words for survivors
“You are cherished. You are valued. You are someone who deserves to be loved and cared for, and respected.”
A lot of the time the abuse is unseen, emotional and psychological. Dr. Gaumer wants to remind every survivor that – you are everything! If you are a momma you are EVERYTHING to your babies!
People do care. People are out here to help. Sometimes it can be hard to reach out but there are people who want to help and do it respectfully. Hang in there. And when you’re ready — reach out, and we’ll be here.”
All are welcome!
At the end of the interview, she giggles and says, “Doug and I love Phil and Terri Thomas but we are very competitive, and our goal is to raise more than they did last year!
We want to make it bigger every year and gain more awareness every year.”
“The bigger the party the better for everyone, ALL ARE WELCOME!”
Thank you, Dr. Gaumer, for your incredible support of Newhouse and survivors. We are grateful for community champions like you!