“Our experience at St. Mary’s was great. My son was very happy with his care, which is saying a lot considering he’s an RRT. He was thankful for the care he received.”
Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Support
Reflections on community response to COVID’s second surge
Amid the staggering number of COVID-19 cases last winter, Providence St. Mary Medical Center collaborated with community and faith-based leaders to invest in the health and safety of the High Desert population.
Generous grants from San Bernardino County and the Public Health Institute provided support for a wide variety of initiatives, including the medical center’s drive-thru testing and vaccination clinic. Supported by a grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Providence St. Mary launched a powerful public health education campaign, Mask Up With Pride: Honoring Our Healing Heritage, to reduce the spread among the region’s vulnerable populations.
Meanwhile, the Providence St. Mary Medical Center Foundation provided critical relief throughout the surge, volunteering throughout the hospital and covering administrative duties so clinical workers could prioritize patient care.
John Kozyra, the Foundation’s chief philanthropy officer, has served as Providence St. Mary incident commander since December 2021. “The challenges were extraordinary, especially as cases peaked and the medical center operated at 150 percent bed capacity,” he reflects. “It was like getting a Ph.D. in hospital operations in three months.”
He and the incident command team articulated two goals, “Number one: support our frontline caregivers at all costs,” John says. “Number two: never compromise patient safety.” And throughout the surge, the team was guided by the ministry’s commitment to providing care with dignity and justice.
John reflects that the immersive experience gave him the opportunity to identify funding priorities firsthand and strengthened the bond between the Foundation and clinical staff. “Being a hands-on partner to our clinical leaders took our relationship to a whole new level.”
To help keep our community healthy against COVID-19, make a gift at supportstmaryfoundation.org/donate.
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