Supporting Frontline Workers During the Pandemic
Kaleida Health Foundation’s Need Continues
By Kristen Bieber, Marketing Manager Kaleida Health Foundation
As much of the community pressed pause in mid-March when COVID-19 began to hit, one organization went into overdrive. Within a week, the Kaleida Health Foundation launched a COVID-19 Response Fund, and began rallying the community for support of their frontline healthcare workers when they needed it most.
The mission of the Kaleida Health Foundation is to support the care, programs, technology, education, and research at Kaleida Health’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home care at the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York through philanthropy. This never ringed truer, and the stakes were never higher than during this year’s pandemic.
“As a nonprofit, Kaleida Health relies on the support of the community to make many of the programs, equipment and care possible,” said Carol Horton, vice president, Kaleida Health Foundation. “We truly saw our mission come to life during the pandemic, and we were proud to be able to provide our patients and staff with the support they needed during this trying time.”
Kaleida Health was in a battle to obtain and maintain the growing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep their patients and staff safe. Though the organization’s supply chain team was working tirelessly to track down anything they could, the Foundation stepped in to help as well, reaching out to corporate partners and contacts within the community to obtain monetary donations to support the increased cost of these purchases, or donate PPE itself.
The Foundation team strategized other ways to help support the frontline staff working tirelessly to care for the community, and began fielding meal deliveries both donated by the community and sponsored by the Foundation. During a three-month period, the Foundation delivered over 66,000 meals to staff across Kaleida Health’s hospitals, testing locations, laboratories, and more.
“These meals meant so much to the staff there that many took the time to write notes of appreciation, saying that not having to think about their meal helped them remain focused and able to continue caring for patients,” added Horton. “That meant so much to us to be able to be part of that.”
With hospital visitation guidelines changing to minimize potential virus spread, many patients were left unable to connect with their family members. As a way to help, the Foundation purchased iPads for many hospital units to allow patients to FaceTime their family members, and feel connected at a time that could feel very isolating.
The battle with COVID-19 is continuing, and the need for support for these frontline healthcare workers and the patients of Kaleida Health keeps rising.
“The Kaleida Health Foundation remains focused on rallying the community to our cause, and helping curb the cost COVID-19 has brought upon the care provided across Kaleida Health,” Horton said.
Donations can be made at www.GiftToHealth.com.