Earlier this year, the Gundersen Medical Foundation created the Employees Helping Employees Emergency Fund. It is primarily supported by Gundersen employees who donate to help fellow employees struck by financial hardships.
"The fund helps cover costs that an employee may struggle to pay during an emergency, such as housing, utilities, expensive repairs or medical expenses," reports Ashley Zibrowski, the Foundation's fund allocation manager. "After this summer's severe weather, flood relief has also been a common request."
"The fund is not yet a year old, but the support has been impressive. Since starting in April, the fund has awarded more than 20 grants," Ashley says. "The grants help alleviate some of the stress associated with difficult times. Everyone is so grateful for their peers' support."
Medical Assistant Committee raises funds for Employee Emergency Fund
Each year the Gundersen systemwide Medical Assistants (MA) Committee chooses various causes as recipients of their fundraising efforts. At their September meeting the committee discussed the storm and flooding devastation throughout the Coulee Region and how they might help.
"We were discussing what to do—storm damage having impacted one of our own committee members," reports Edie Kubicek, Department of Nursing. "So, we invited Gundersen Medical Foundation to share information with us about the new Employees Helping Employees Emergency Fund. After their presentation, the group chose to 'pass the hat' at their annual conference and recognition event, quickly raising more than $300 to help this fund."
"We are continuing to look for ways to raise money for this fund in 2019," Edie adds. "We also want to thank everyone who donated on behalf of the Medical Assistants Committee."
How to apply
This fund is open to employees who have worked at Gundersen for at least six months, work at least 20 hours and who are experiencing an emergency financial need for which they could not have been prepared.
"Anyone wishing to apply for a grant of up to $1,000 from the Employees Helping Employees Emergency Fund should contact Gundersen Social Services at ext. 53454," Ashley explains. "Applicants must meet with a social worker to determine eligibility and receive help connecting with other community resources as needed. Applications are reviewed by an anonymous committee."
To apply for a grant or donate in support of this fund, go to gundersenhealth.org/employeefund.
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