Every day nurses, physicians, and other hospital staff show up to work to care for patients and improve the health of our community. Since word of COVID-19’s arrival in Seattle back in March, these health care workers quickly adapted to a new situation and worked around the clock to ensure their readiness to care for COVID-19 patients. It is during these challenging times we are reminded of how important having high-quality health care close to home truly is.
It is also during these times we get to see the best in our community. Before even knowing what the hospital’s needs were, generous community members stepped up to offer financial support, masks, meals, cards, and encouraging words for staff.
“The outpouring of support from businesses and community members coming forward with donations has been overwhelming,” Julie Holt, Kootenai Health Foundation president, said. “We wanted to create an appropriate channel for these donations, so the Foundation created the Health Care Heroes fund to benefit our local heroes and the patients they serve every day.”
To date, over $330,000 has been donated to the Health Care Heroes fund, and over 5,000 homemade cloth masks. This is in addition to donated N95 masks, and countless meals and goodies for staff from local restaurants. So far, $30,000 of the funds raised was added to the Kootenai Health Family Fund, an internal fund designated to help employees undergoing financial hardship due to COIVD-19 or other life changes. Another $40,000 went to purchase technology to help connect patients with their families during times of visitor restrictions. The use of the remainder of the funds may support:
- Additional equipment needed to prepare for COVID-19 such as PPE, monitors, ventilators, and training for staff.
- Costs to set up, manage, and expand the COVID-19 testing sites.
- Additional support for employees to help keep morale high.
“Doreen and I have been involved in the Kootenai Health Foundation for many years, including my having been on the Board some years ago,” Jim Terrill, former Kootenai Health Foundation board member and longtime supporter, said. “We have been patients at Kootenai Health on a number of occasions and have appreciated the excellent care that is provided there. We believe deeply in the work of the hospital and the foundation, this is why we have chosen to support them.”
Donations to the Kootenai Health Foundation can benefit a variety of services and means of support for both patients and hospital operations. Because so many fundraising events have been canceled due to COVID-19, Holt said independent donations are even more meaningful than usual.
“Because of the stay-at-home order, local nonprofits haven’t been able to hold important fundraising events or meet with donors in person, so all of this has been done via phone, mail, or online,” Eve Knudtsen, chair of the Kootenai Health Foundation Board, said. “We are incredibly grateful for all of the support from the community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continuing support of your community hospital.”
If you would like to learn more about the Kootenai Health Foundation or make a donation, visit kh.org/foundation or call (208) 625-4438.