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Lee Health auxiliaries contribute to help frontline healthcare workers

By Staff | Apr 29, 2020

Lee Health and NCH Healthcare System announced last month the “SWFL Stronger Together” campaign, a collaboration to raise funds and support for the regional effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. They are asking the Southwest Florida community to join them and show support for the healthcare professionals on the frontline of the crisis.

Cape Coral Auxiliary, Gulf Coast Medical Center Auxiliary and Lee Memorial Auxiliary were the first to answer the call, all generously giving $50,000 each for a combined $150,000 donation, all to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

“It is with compassion, love and deep appreciation for our Lee Health family and the Southwest Florida community that the Lee Memorial Auxiliary is donating $50,000 to SWFL Stronger Together,” Lee Memorial Auxiliary President Sandy Heise said. “As the health care keepers and leaders of our respective communities, Lee Health and NCH have risen to this unprecedented challenge to help us all.”

Gifts to the SWFL Stronger Together fund are providing critical resources, equipment and supplies needed to support doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers as they take on the challenges of COVID-19. Funds are being used to buy additional ventilators and masks, as well as adding to each hospital’s infrastructure including mobile collection sites and additional beds to better care for all patients and manage the changing landscape of the crisis.

“We are in this together,” Cape Coral Hospital Auxiliary President Sue Twining said. “Our Cape Auxiliary is committed to fight this virus and keep our community safe.”

Technology has also been a challenge, so donations are helping to increase resources and bridge the challenges of communication. With a no visitor policy in effect, it has been difficult for patients to communicate with their families, affecting morale for patients and staff. iPads are being purchased and distributed to all campuses so that families can video chat with their loved ones on the outside. As quickly as iPads are distributed, more are being requested. The added technology has been especially impactful for parents to introduce their newborns to friends and family who are unable to visit.

Beyond the medical equipment and supplies, the impact on employees has been a focus ensuring they feel supported and cared for as well. During a time when food, shopping, and packing lunch should not be an added concern for employees, donations have provided free meals to all employees on all shifts.

More than 150 restaurants and businesses across the Southwest Florida community have also contributed food, care packages, footwear, as well as plants and flowers.

“The Gulf Coast Medical Center Auxiliary is honored to be able to support the front line of defense against this unprecedented pandemic – the nurses, physicians, and support staff of Lee Health, who put themselves in harm’s way to care for their patients,” Gulf Coast Medical Center Auxiliary President Gary Gold said. “Our contribution of $50,000 can be measured in dollars and cents, but our spiritual support is immeasurable.”

For more information or to donate, visit SWFLtogether.org.