Cone Health Foundation’s response to COVID-19
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. People across the world contemplated what the long-term impact would be on their personal lives, their communities and their livelihoods. Cone Health Foundation invested heavily in its strategic plan activities in the fifth year of implementation. Unfortunately, that left us with limited resources to respond to needs during a pandemic. (A great lesson learned here.)
However, Cone Health Foundation’s Board approved a special emergency fund totaling $20,000 in April 2020. The fund was meant to respond to urgent community needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that were identified by grantees. Those funds were quickly and fully distributed to help keep medically fragile people fed, sheltered and connected to medical care.
To further support grantees, Cone Health Foundation minimized reporting requirements and streamlined its 2021 grant application and approval process to ensure that urgently needed funding reached grantee partner organizations as quickly and efficiently as possible. Additional efforts to support the community included the distribution of care kits. Cone Health employees and Foundation staff and Board members packed over 5,000 care kits (face masks, soap, hand sanitizer and health information) to share with grantee organizations early in the pandemic. Foundation staff also assisted Cone Health Philanthropy’s office with community contributions and worked on personal protective equipment distribution with Cone Health’s innovations and product review team.