Amid the unprecedented public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Heising-Simons Foundation has made a $2 million grant to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation to establish a COVID-19 Response Initiative at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG).
As San Francisco’s public hospital, ZSFG is the sole provider of trauma and psychiatric emergency services for the City and County of San Francisco. ZSFG’s COVID-19 Response Initiative will increase the capacity to transport, test, and care for patients––as well as develop additional therapeutics for their care.
Patients served by ZSFG who are homeless or unemployed, or who lack health insurance or documented immigration status, are especially vulnerable to the illness.
With resources provided by the new grant, physicians will be able to better triage and treat COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization, and also create appropriate plans of care for those who do not. In addition, the new grant will help protect frontline healthcare workers, including nurses, respiratory technicians, and physicians, by enhancing screening, on-site testing, and availability of the personal protective equipment, or PPE, required to treat COVID-19 patients safely.
Despite the state of California’s shelter-in-place mandate (which includes individuals practicing social distancing and the closing of non-essential businesses), the number of new patients is predicted to increase dramatically over the coming weeks. Without proper and resolute action, the rise of new cases may cause a shortage of testing materials, hospital beds, negative pressure hospital rooms in which patients are housed, ventilators, trained personnel, and protective equipment for medical personnel.
The COVID-19 global pandemic is changing the world, and our country. In addition to the challenges brought on by the sudden health crisis, as well as financial concerns and uncertainty given the unpredictability of this situation, the Heising-Simons Foundation also recognizes that the most significant impacts will likely be on the vulnerable communities that are the focus of so many of our programs. This $2 million grant to establish a COVID-19 Response Initiative at ZSFG is part of several efforts the Foundation is supporting to help our communities and our grantee partners, including a rapid response fund for current Foundation grantees to offset unexpected costs incurred for disruptions to operations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as several other grants. We will continue to update the sidebar beside this post.