Sharon D. Howard
Region Rallies Around Premier Health Patients and Staff Throughout Pandemic
DAYTON, Ohio (March 12, 2021)
– On the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Health is giving thanks for the tremendous support that individuals and businesses throughout the region have made in support of the health system’s patients and their caregivers.
The public’s generous response to one of the greatest public health crises of the past century was coordinated through Premier Health’s four philanthropic foundations: Atrium Medical Center Foundation, Good Samaritan Foundation-Dayton, Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, and the Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation.
“The groundswell of support we have seen over the past year has been a welcome port in the storm, helping us weather this pandemic and stay focused on our mission of improving the health of the communities that we serve,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “I cannot fully express in words our gratitude for every message, card, cookie, mask, and donation received. Every gift truly made a difference to a patient or staff member. We are humbled by all that the people of Southwest Ohio and beyond have done to support us.”
Donations have ranged from homemade and hand-sewn items to monetary gifts. Large donations of food and beverages, personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical equipment – all of these items and more comforted and in some cases even protected Premier Health’s staff on the front lines. In the early months, when PPE supplies were strained, creative help came from almost every source imaginable. Nail and hair salons offered gloves, while construction companies donated gloves and boot covers. More than 900 volunteers sewed masks.
Through donations, Premier Health’s four foundations played – and continue to play – a key role in covering the costs associated with the lab test necessary for the convalescent plasma donation program, which provided hope to many hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the pandemic’s early days. When patients could not receive visitors due to the risk of virus spread, messages and cards flooded in from community members and school systems across the region, providing hope and encouragement. At Atrium Medical Center, a donation of 44 Facebook portals helped patients communicate with family and see familiar smiling faces.
Increasing patient volumes at times left little opportunity for caregivers to eat or take a short break away from the unit. Thanks to area businesses and the community, respite rooms at all Miami Valley Hospital sites provided a calming space for critical care staff to relax and recharge. At Upper Valley Medical Center, employee break rooms were enhanced with inspirational artwork, plants, massagers, gourmet snacks and coffees.
More than 300 employees severely affected by COVID-19 received help in paying bills and other expenses from donations through the foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. For staff, cards of gratitude, banners and posters outside hospital entrances, and community members cheering and waving to employees, provided encouragement and hope many caregivers needed to press on in service to the community.
About Premier Health
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Premier Health (www.premierhealth.com) has a mission to improve the health of the communities it serves. The health system has five hospital locations: Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton with additional inpatient sites at Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville and Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood; Atrium Medical Center in Middletown; and Upper Valley Medical Center in Miami County. In addition, the health system offers a wide range of care choices, including virtual care; e-visits; a telestroke network and other telehealth options; an urgent care network; free-standing emergency departments; a large primary and specialty care network; and home health services. Premier Health is among the largest employers and health care systems in Southwest Ohio.