As a nonprofit health system, Henry Ford Health System uses philanthropic contributions to help fund the organization. HFHS confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 in March and simultaneously launched fundraising efforts to support the fight against the coronavirus. Its donor base of community members, grateful patients, foundations, and corporations immediately donated financial resources as well as thousands of PPE items to help COVID-19 patients, frontline staff, research efforts, and more. Since the start of the crisis, the HFHS development office has helped the health system with several initiatives including providing:
- Thousands of shift meals for care teams at every HFHS hospital.
- Life-saving equipment and PPE for staff and patients.
- Gift cards, gas cards, and food for frontline teams.
- Clean scrubs for frontline care teams and custodial staff, ensuring that they can minimize exposure risk for patients and their own families.
- Transportation for employees and patients so that they can travel safely when buses and other options are limited.
- Financial support for vulnerable employees that need extra assistance.
- Meal delivery to immunosuppressed and homebound patients and their families.
- CovidCare kits, which are handed out to COVID-19 patients as they head home. The kits contain a thermometer, a pulse oximeter (to measure oxygen levels), face masks, a symptoms log, and more.
In addition, work of the Development Office led to research efforts like the “Will Hydroxychloroquine Impede or Prevent COVID-19” study, a 3,000-subject look at whether hydroxychloroquine prevents frontline workers from contracting the COVID-19 virus. It also created a new partnership between HFHS, the city of Detroit, and Detroit’s health department to bring 10,000 onsite COVID-19 tests to the city’s more than 126 nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities.
Apart from the pandemic, gifts to HFHS enable it to develop innovative new treatments, promote community wellness, advance important research, and train the next generation of physicians and nurses.