Following the launch of St. John’s Health Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund earlier this month, the foundation board has expanded the scope of support for the community in its battle against the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 Response Fund — established “in support of St. John’s Health employees and their families” — was voted into existence March 19.
With another vote Thursday, money in the fund will also be used to purchase needed capital equipment and support the hospital’s Board of Trustees and administration in pursuing satellite locations for COVID-19 treatment.
The foundation asks for the community’s support in bolstering the account.
The fundraising campaign’s “urgency and its objectives cannot be overstated,” St. John’s Health Foundation president John Goettler said in a statement.
With its new goals in mind, the board also voted Thursday to transfer $188,887 to purchase 10 ventilators, bringing St. John’s Health’s total count to 24.
Resident Tom Katis pledged $100,000 toward the purchase if donors provide the other $90,000. That would allow the foundation to commit its money back the COVID-19 fund for other needs.
To contribute to the fund, go online at TinyURL.com/covid19responsefund or call Goettler at 739-7516.
So far, the community has added more than $60,000 to the fund’s $50,000 seed money. More than 30 hospital employees have applied for assistance, most citing financial needs following the loss of a spouse’s job. St. John’s employees can apply by filling out a request at TinyURL.com/stjohnsreliefgrant.
To combat contamination, the hospital will receive two ultraviolet disinfecting machines, a purchase made with $193,000 of “fast tracked” funding donated by the Hughes Foundation.
“The St. John’s Health staff are truly first responders during this pandemic,” Goettler said. “Apart from their personal needs, they require us to understand and support their essential professional needs: the right tools, protection, and equipment so that they can perform as safely and effectively as possible — and save lives.”
— Chance Cook added to this report.