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CENTRAL COAST, CA – May 18, 2020 – Individuals across the Central Coast have been impacted by COVID-19 in many ways. For patients at Dignity Health Home Health, Hospice and Infusion, the most vulnerable are now provided with a new food and essential items resource for homebound patients experiencing or at risk of food insecurity.
Under the shelter-at-home orders of public health authorities, many isolated seniors and medically-fragile individuals are housebound. Additionally, these isolated seniors often rely on the support of local foodbanks, whose resources are stretched beyond the current community need. This is where The Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation stepped in to provide vital funding for the establishment of the Dignity Health Food Pantry. The new Dignity Health Food Pantry is stocked with both shelf-stable food items and other essential items provide a necessary supplement to the resources offered by the local foodbanks.
“Thanks to the generosity of The Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation, the emergency food pantry is providing for a critical need to ensure the continued well-being of our patients,” states Kathy Sullivan, PhD, RN, Vice President of Post-Acute Care Services, Central Coast Division, Dignity Health. “This very meaningful donation allows for volunteers and staff members alike to provide a true safety net to isolated and medically-fragile individuals.”
On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, four cars filled with orange Dignity Health bags containing groceries and sanitary goods were hand delivered to housebound patients in Santa Maria. With 62 individuals receiving emergency supplies, this supplementary supply of items will continue to be a helpful resource for those in need.
Mark Smith, a successful construction entrepreneur and real estate developer, spent his life building homes and commercial properties in Santa Maria. He and his wife, Dorothy, invested their lives to building the future of heath care for the Santa Maria Valley. Throughout the years, and during this critical time, The Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the health care needs of our community, including the Heart Center, the Cornerstone Campaign to build Marian’s new hospital, and patients in need at Marian Extended Care Center.
[Photos: Top - Food Pantry Deliveries, Middle - Food Pantry Donation Bags, Bottom - Dignity Health Food Pantry]
About Dignity Health Central Coast
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. For more information, visit dignityhealth.org/centralcoast.
Sara San Juan