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Sacramento, Calif. (July 8, 2020) – As shelter-in-place orders left the world at a standstill earlier this year, essential hospital staff members never took pause in their pursuit to keep patients and our communities safe and well. In recognition of this relentless commitment, Dignity Health Greater Sacramento Division (GSD) hospital employees began to see an outpouring of community support unlike any other. To date, GSD hospitals have received in-kind contributions that in total are valued at nearly $500,000.
The in-kind contributions, that began early March, came in many forms – from much-needed personal protective equipment like face masks, face shields, and goggles – to coffee, baked goods and lunches for as many as 800 staff members in just one afternoon. Many donors were mindful in also supporting local businesses while making the contributions. Mercy Foundation, alongside Woodland Healthcare Foundation and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, received contributions from donors that support the foundation year-round but a majority were new community donors. In total, nearly 500 in-kind contributions were received – a quantity never before reached.
“At our local foundations, we are lucky to often see generous contributions come through year-round to support important initiatives and programs,” said Kevin Duggan, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Dignity Health Greater Sacramento Division. “We, though, could have never anticipated the volume of heartwarming donations that came to us these last couple of months to support our very own staff and physicians. We want to thank our community for your acts of kindness as they enhanced the days of those working hard to keep our communities healthy.”
Many local businesses repurposed their materials/resources to benefit Dignity Health GSD hospitals, like distilleries who produced hand sanitizer for the first time. Similarly, some community members reimagined milestone celebrations, as was the case with a Sacramento woman, who with her husband, provided 27 meals for day and night shift employees at Methodist Hospital of Sacramento in celebration of her 27th birthday.
“Throughout my career as a registered nurse, I never had to endure what our staff and physicians are facing now – it is truly remarkable work,” said Laurie Harting, Greater Sacramento Division CEO for Dignity Health. “Our employees face new stresses both at home and at work and so to have our communities rally around them and feel compelled to express their gratitude is incredibly uplifting and very much appreciated by everyone at our care facilities.”
Equally appreciated were amazing gestures made that didn’t have a price tag attached. These included handwritten signs placed on hospital grounds, ‘thank you’ letters and social media videos/posts expressing community support.
“Right now our home life is challenged as we continue to socially isolate and at work we’re confronted with a completely unprecedented crisis, and so to have complete strangers do what they can to help you and your coworkers is beyond incredible,” said Virginia Owens, registered nurse at Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center. “We can’t thank our community enough – it’s what keeps us going. We do it all for you.”
Donations continue to trickle in. For those still interested in making a donation, please visit the Dignity Health GSD COVID-19 donation webpage.
Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health care systems, is a multi-state network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care-centers including neighborhood hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. In FY 2019, Dignity Health provided more than $1.1 billion in patient financial assistance, unreimbursed costs of Medicaid, community health improvement services, and other community benefits. For more information, please visit our website at www.dignityhealth.org.
For more than 65 years, Mercy Foundation has been partnering with the community to advance the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, who have served the Sacramento region since 1857. Together, we help feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate the underserved, and care for the sick at local Dignity Health hospitals and clinics.