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Published on June 23, 2020

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Your donations at work during COVID-19

Our community and employees have stepped up to help each other since the COVID-19 pandemic affected our area.

Thanks to your contributions to Gundersen Medical Foundation's COVID-19 Support Fund, our staff have the resources they need to provide the best care for patients and for our organization to keep caregivers safe. Besides donations of personal protective equipment and other needed supplies, the community has donated more than 1,000 meals and 300 care packages for frontline staff.

In addition, Gundersen Medical Foundation has used COVID-19 funds to support two larger projects. Additional projects are forthcoming.

Donations have funded home monitoring systems to help safeguard COVID-19 patients while protecting our general population from exposure. Home monitors are placed on patients from the Respiratory Clinic who are experiencing low oxygen levels but are otherwise stable to go home. Thanks to generous contributions from the community, these monitors will keep patients with respiratory symptoms out of the hospital and main clinic.

"I've worked with the patients who received the home monitoring systems, and you can hear the relief in their reply when you tell them you can see all their vital signs; that they are safe; and you'll be with them until they are better," comments Vance Fishel, clinical manager, Respiratory Care and Pulmonary.

The Foundation is also providing funding to construct employee showers at the Gundersen Onalaska Clinic thanks to generous support from Gundersen Partners and community donors. The new staff showers are necessary for Onalaska Clinic employees to use for decontamination purposes. Patients who are actively tested for COVID-19 present to Onalaska Urgent Care daily, some of which have had positive test results. Showers are currently unavailable; therefore nurses, doctors, EMTs and other staff have no way to decontaminate themselves if they are exposed to COVID-19 before going home to their loved ones. 

Gundersen Partners wanted to make a lead gift to cover half the cost of this project because it aligns with their mission to enhance patient and family care at Gundersen. Proceeds from sales at the Gift Shop make this contribution possible. The gifts purchased at the Gift Shop give twice.

"The health and wellbeing of the staff of Onalaska Urgent Care plays a significant role in patient and family care. We are meeting one of our goals as an organization if we can help employees feel safer at work, and when they go home to their families, knowing they have the contamination shower to use," says Linda Gillette, Gundersen Partners Board President.

The power of philanthropy is on full display at Gundersen. The home monitoring systems and the decontamination shower are wonderful examples of gifts that enrich the lives of patients and staff.

Get more information on the Gundersen Medical Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund.

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