New heroes are emerging during this global crisis and health care workers are at the very top. Willing to risk their lives to care for the rest of us, their work is indispensable to the global fight against COVID-19. Helping these heroes prepare for the pandemic has been one of MATTER’s top priorities over the last couple of months.
Ellie Zuehlke is the Director of Community Benefit & Engagement for Allina Health. She’s also on the Board of Directors for MATTER. When Allina Health found itself in desperate need of more personal protection equipment (PPE), Ellie reached out to MATTER for supplies. She wasn’t the only one. MATTER has received dozens of calls from medical facilities locally and around the nation to help them in their fight against COVID-19. We’ve also been proactively reaching out to hospital partners to see how we can help them during this crisis.
In “normal” times, our hospital partners are the ones donating medical equipment and supplies to MATTER so we can repurpose them to needy hospitals and clinics around the world. With the coronavirus bearing down on our country, our hospital partners have found themselves in the unlikely position of reaching out to community partners, like MATTER, for help in providing them with these essential supplies!
Ellie describes how surreal it was calling MATTER to ask for help, “If you had told me two months ago that I would be reaching out to MATTER, or the community at large, for help with PPE supplies, I wouldn’t have believed you. Never in a billion years would I have believed it.”
For Lisa Campbell, Director of Purchased Services Contracting for UnityPoint Health, a network of hospitals, clinics and home care services in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, the frantic search to find more PPE supplies has been frustrating and emotionally draining. When she heard MATTER had a shipment ready to go for UnityPoint, she called her Dad and told him that her faith in humanity had just been restored. She also asked MATTER for a picture of the shipment.
“I had MATTER send me a picture so I could keep it in front of me when I was feeling helpless about not getting supplies or was having trouble sourcing from other vendors. I have had to pull that picture out a couple times this last week. It helps to know we have a true partner, not just when we are giving but when we are in need!”
We here at MATTER could not be more honored to be a resource for our life-saving hospital partner heroes during this time of crisis. Our Medical Program Director, Joel Anderson, summed up the feelings of everyone at MATTER,
“Our hospital partners are amazing! Their generous donations allow MATTER to help provide better healthcare to communities around the world. Being able to give back to them at this crucial time by providing PPE supplies and other essential medical equipment has been so rewarding. They are genuine heroes and deserve all the help we can give them.”
In addition to supplying our nation’s frontline workers with what they need to be safe, MATTER is also continuing to send medical shipments to our partners overseas. In the coming weeks we’ll share stories from Africa, where their healthcare heroes are fighting COVID-19 in already extremely challenging situations, amplified even more by the pandemic.
Stay tuned and stay safe!