The global fight against COVID-19 has ushered in an era of uncertainty and anxiety—particularly for frontline healthcare providers and staff, as well as their families. For the team at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, however, large and small acts of kindness from the Charlottesville community and beyond have helped to ease the emotional and mental stress that have become a daily reality. From providing hot meals, 3D-printed personal protective equipment and hand-sewn face masks to sending thank-you notes and making generous donations of life-saving equipment, the broader community has rallied to wrap its collective arms around the hospital team.
“These unprecedented times have changed the way we all live and work, and the same is true tenfold for our frontline healthcare workers,” says Sentara Martha Jefferson President Jonathan S. Davis. “The support and encouragement we have received from the community helped us respond rapidly. They have lifted our spirits and strengthened our fortitude in incredible ways.”
Many of these gestures have come through philanthropic support, both from in-kind gifts and cash contributions. The Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation Emergency Response Fund, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, already has raised more than $250,000, even as fundraising efforts continue to advance. The fund is providing dedicated resources to help the hospital meet sudden and rapidly evolving healthcare needs during the current crisis, including much-needed supplies, staff resiliency programs, and community educational and outreach initiatives. The Emergency Response Fund is an important part of enabling the hospital to adapt to its “new normal,” which includes treating all patients in a world that includes COVID-19, while also making sure the hospital is prepared for other crises that may arise in the future.