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March 30, 2020

St. John’s Health Foundation Launches Expanded COVID-19 Response Fund and Moves to Purchase Capital Equipment in Support of St. John’s Health’s Employees


With the news that St John’s Health CEO, Paul Beaupre was able to procure 10 ventilators from a private supplier, St John’s Health Foundation responded with the funding needed to get them quickly.

The Board voted on Thursday to expand the scope of the COVID-19 Response Fund they launched on March 19th in support of St. John’s Health employees and their families affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic to include equipment and other needs required to treat COVID-19 patients. The Board voted to seed the COVID-19 Response Fund with an initial contribution of $50,000 from the Foundation’s unrestricted funds. To date, more than $60,000 has been contributed by the community. One hundred percent of the Foundation board members have donated to the fund.

St. John’s Health Foundation’s vote to expand the scope of the St. John’s Health Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund includes the following objectives:

  1. To continue support for St. John’s Health employees and their families with mental health counselling, financial assistance for food and housing insecurity, and other issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. To support St. John’s Health with the purchase of capital equipment and supplies to help the hospital administration combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Ultraviolet Disinfectant machines, ventilators, masks,and other equipment and supplies deemed necessary to keep our patients, our staff, and their families healthy and safe.
  3. To support St. John’s Health Board and Administrationin their efforts to pursue leasing satellite locations throughout Teton County, Wyoming, that may be necessary to stage and house COVID-19 patients, families, and St. John’s Health employees.
  4. To secure philanthropic support, as well as in-kind support, from donors and residents throughout the Jackson Hole valley. The Foundation pledgesto be stewards of financial and personal support and goodwill provided to our patients, their families, hospital staff, their families, and our community.

Thus far, the fund has supported more than 30 hospital staff members who have applied for financial support.  Most often the help was needed as a result of the loss of work by a spouse.

With the expanded scope of the Response Fund, two significant opportunities are underway:

First, the Foundation Board voted to transfer $188,887 to purchase the ten ventilators immediately.  “The Foundation Board was fortunate to have the ability to quickly pass a motion to approve the transfer of funds to enable the hospital to sign the purchase order,” stated Bill Best, St. John’s Health Foundation Board Chair.  St. John’s Health previously had a total of twelve ventilators. This action by the Foundation will bring the total up to 22 ventilators.

Since then local resident Tom Katis has come forward to pledge $100,000 if the Foundation is able to secure donors for the other $90,000. This effort will allow the foundation to commit the funds previously transferred this week to go directly to the newly expanded COVID-19 fund for other critical needs as they arise.

Second, last week, the Foundation Board voted to transfer funds to purchase two Ultraviolet Disinfecting Machines at a cost of $193,000 to help combat contamination. Through an act of astonishing generosity, however, Molly and Wayne Hughes, a Friend of the Foundation, learned of the effort from John Goettler and fast tracked a check from their family’s foundation for the entire amount.

St John’s Foundation Board invites the community to join them in their support of St John’s Health with contributions to the newly expanded fund.  “The SJHF COVID-19 Response Fund fund-raising campaign is now officially underway – and its urgency and its objectives cannot be overstated” stated John Goettler, President of the St. John’s Health Foundation.  “The St. John’s Health staff are truly first responders during this pandemic. Apart from their professional needs, they require us to understand and support their essential professional needs: the right tools, protection, and equipment so that they can perform as safely and effectively as possible—and safe lives.”

If you would like to make a financial contribution in support of the COVID-19 Employee Response Fund, please click here or contact John Goettler at 307/739-7516.





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