Talk about a godsend. Tri-City Hospital Foundation President Jennifer Paroly was trying to find funding for new GlideScopes – equipment that allows easier and safer emergency airway management for coronavirus patients and physicians – when The San Diego Foundation contacted her with word it was providing Tri-City with a $100,000 grant from the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
“I almost started crying,” Paroly said. “I was in meetings and phone calls, literally happening in real-time, when I received an email and a phone call from The San Diego Foundation to let us know it was providing this gift. We are so fortunate and so grateful to have others recognize our medical center’s central role in our community’s COVID-19 response effort and entrust us with a donation of this magnitude.”
“With a national shortage of personal protective equipment, and the cost of that equipment rising fast, every dollar raised will help us protect our front line healthcare providers and treat more vulnerable patients.”
The grant is paying for more than the GlideScopes. Tri-City Hospital is also purchasing 375 canisters of Centers for Disease Control-approved disinfectant wipes, 25 portable suction units for COVID-19 patients, even iPads to allow patients in the Intensive Care Unit and Telemetry Department to communicate with loved ones who, because of social distancing regulations, cannot make a personal visit.
Mobilizing Millions of Dollars
The donation underscores how U.S. community foundations are moving decisively to help those in need during the pandemic, mobilizing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars by March 25. Funds are providing critical support to those who are facing challenges ranging from lost income to caring for the most vulnerable. The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $1.1 million to nonprofits, including $500,000 to the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, $250,000 to the United Way of San Diego, and $100,000 each to Feeding San Diego, Interfaith Community Services and YMCA of San Diego County Child Care Resource Service and Child Development Associates.
Donations also are coming from business, industry and organizations like the David C. Copley Foundation, allowing Tri-City to purchase an array of personal protective equipment.
“Every single shoe cover, every single face mask, every single gown that we are able to secure is making a difference,” said Paroly, who noted Tri-City Medical Center serves an area that includes many patients living below the poverty line. “With a national shortage of personal protective equipment, and the cost of that equipment rising fast, every dollar raised will help us protect our front line healthcare providers and treat more vulnerable patients.”
While many in our community are suffering financial hardships, Paroly also recognized that donations of any size are welcome at the medical center.
“There is no donation that is too small. There is not one piece of personal protective equipment that is not significant. Every pair of gloves is like a priceless jewel…Everyone is vulnerable right now, but we really have to protect those on the front lines, and that includes our doctors and other health care professionals.”