At the University of Virginia and worldwide, doctors, nurses, residents and staff are working around the clock to prepare and fight for lives during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Those of us without health care training cannot join in that fight directly, but we can support them – with meals, with supplies and with a simple, heartfelt “thank you.”
“We have more than 13,000 individuals that work as part of our health system, and every one of them is working day and night, really hard, to take care of our patients,” Dr. K. Craig Kent, UVA’s executive vice president of health affairs, said in a town hall Thursday. “Any opportunity that anyone has to say, ‘thank you,’ I think would be really appreciated. They are doing great work and I could not be prouder to be a part of that team.”
Here are several ways you can help the men and women of UVA Health.
Gift Cards or Food
Restaurant gift cards or food donations can make it easier for hospital staff to quickly get meals between shifts.
Anyone wishing to provide gift cards or food to UVA Health can contact Susan Jackiewicz at SCJ4T@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu. She is leading a team coordinating donations and drop-offs.
Any donated food should be from a restaurant, manufacturer or other approved purveyor and packaged in single-serve portions (no buffet trays, homemade goodies or large bags of unwrapped snacks, for example).
A local Girl Scout troop recently made a very sweet contribution.
These are 250 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Troop 944 from Charlottesville arranged for these cookies to be delivered to nurses at UVA Health this week, in gratitude for their dedication during such difficult times. Please join me in thanking these inspiring 3rd-7th graders. pic.twitter.com/oGoUukJUs9— Jim Ryan (@presjimryan) April 3, 2020
There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, needed to keep doctors and nurses from contracting the virus as they care for patients. UVA Health has established a donation center for local businesses, community members and philanthropic groups to drop off equipment. Needs include masks, hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap and non-latex disposable gloves.
The University is collaborating with Equip Cville, a local organization working to collect and redistribute donated PPE.
The UVA donation center, which opened Friday, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. It is located behind the Education Resource Center, 1240 Lee St., at UVA Health. There will be signage posted to direct donors, and safety protocols are in place to protect those donating as well as care providers and patients.
Child Care Assistance
UVA is offering back-up child and elder care assistance to benefits-eligible employees through two organizations, Bright Horizons and Sittercity. This is especially helpful for health care employees who cannot be home to care for children out of school or help a loved one.
Currently, Sittercity is seeking applicants to provide in-home care for children. These are paid positions.
For more information about the back-up care benefits, and to apply as a caregiver, see the UVA HR Caregiving page.
As Kent mentioned, a simple “thank you” can go a long way. Reach out and check on health care providers you know, and thank them for all they are doing. And make sure to stay home and maintain social distancing as much as you can; it is the best way we can reduce risk for those on the front lines.