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Novant Health Foundation launches Novant Health Disaster Relief Fund
By Guest Blogger Gina DiPietro, Novant Health
Health care professionals are on the front lines as Novant Health battles against the spread of COVID-19. Team members at all levels are demonstrating their commitment to our communities with their tireless efforts to treat, heal and keep patients healthy.
Novant Health Foundation has established a new fund dedicated to supporting these providers, as well as the overall response to the pandemic. Contributions will support team members and help fund testing and medication to support patient care, as well as medical supplies.
‘I’m just exhausted’
While juggling patient appointments and provider schedules at Novant Health Cotswold Medical Clinic, clinical supervisor Jordyn Wrenn is also balancing increased anxiety at home these days.
“It’s tough,” Wrenn said. “I’m just exhausted.”
Her husband, Chandler, is an owner of HEX Coffee and had to shut down the business temporarily and let go some employees.
“It’s been really hard for him,” Wrenn said. “I think most of us in management right now are worried about our team, as well. I mean, we know we have to cut hours. Chandler had to let people go. We all want to make sure our employees are taken care of. I have a brand-new team member who has a young child at home, and I’ve got someone who just bought and moved into a house, so naturally everyone’s worried about if they are going to have enough money to survive.”
The Wrenns are also caring for their two young children – nearly 4-year-old Cadan and 6-month-old Grace. Cadan has Down syndrome, while Grace is deaf and currently waiting to get cochlear implants – a surgery that was postponed due to COVID-19. Following guidelines from the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons, Novant Health has rescheduled all nonessential surgeries and procedures.
Amidst it all, Wrenn is working towards her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“I had a paper due this weekend and, thankfully, they said that they were giving some extensions. But at the end of the day, I think we’re all just thankful to still be working.”
‘We’re seeing the emotional toll’
Wrenn’s story is one of many across the Novant Health system.
“We’re seeing the emotional toll on our team members hit pretty hard,” said Daria Kring, senior director for clinical education and patient education.
Kring recognizes the demand at home – helping children navigate online school to worrying about the health of elderly family members. In some cases, the stress is financial, as well. Some team members are getting fewer hours and “may not be getting their full paycheck.” For others, a partner may have lost their job.
“Some of our team members are going to have big needs – they can’t pay their rent, that’s a big need – and other team members will have small needs – they need emotional support,” Kring said.
Novant Health Disaster Relief Fund
As community members look for ways to support Novant Health, a donation to the Novant Health Disaster Relief Fund will help team members continue to deliver remarkable care.
“During this challenging time, some of our team members may face personal hardships, and we are committed to doing as much as possible to meet their needs,” said Ann Caulkins, senior vice president of Novant Health and president of Novant Health Foundation. “This fund provides an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who are dedicated to keeping our communities safe and providing care during an unprecedented crisis.”
Money donated will be used across the entire Novant Health footprint.
“We talk about improving the health of our communities, one person at a time, but we’re members of our community, too,” Wrenn said. “So, we have to also take care of ourselves and each other in order to take care of our community as a whole.”
To make a contribution, click here.
Novant Health has a 24-hour helpline to answer COVID-19 questions. The number is 877-499-1697 or 877-9NOVANT.
If you think you may be at risk for COVID-19, use the Novant Health online coronavirus assessment tool.