During this time of special precautions and unique needs amid the coronavirus, new stories are emerging, showing how Regions and its teams are taking extra steps to serve. In our “Above and Beyond” series, we’re highlighting some of the most recent examples.
An unprecedented, global health crisis has created an unprecedented response, from the use of cutting-edge technology to treat COVID-19 patients, to looking for new ways to keep health care workers safe.
The Doing More Today team looks at new examples of people and organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, with support from Regions Bank:
Donations Help Advance High-Tech Care in Mississippi
In Jackson, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has seen a spike in donations following a contribution from Regions Bank in April.
Regions committed up to $50,000 to be used as part of a matching gift campaign to support immediate needs across the Medical Center.
UMMC tripled the $50,000 through donations from other community partners – and everyday people – who stepped up.
“Right now, we are at $150,000 in cash gifts,” said Meredith Aldridge, a development team member for UMMC. “By and large, these gifts are from donors inspired by Regions and other companies to assist UMMC.”
The state’s only academic medical center, UMMC is leading Mississippi’s medical response to COVID-19. One key to the response has been the UMMC Center for Telehealth, which provides triage service by phone and on smart devices for COVID-19 testing through the C Spire Health app.
Led by Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, UMMC launched clinical trials in mid-April, focusing on people diagnosed with the virus who require hospitalization.
“Dr. Woodward and our leadership team have been on the forefront of responding to this pandemic,” Aldridge added. “We are performing research and helping develop solutions in real time.”
In addition to monetary gifts, donors have provided in-kind contributions – from restaurants offering food for healthcare workers to businesses sending personal protective equipment.
“Every day, around the clock, the physicians and staff of UMMC are meeting urgent needs and providing guidance, care, comfort and support for people and families from across our state,” said Robert Leard, Metro Jackson Market Executive for Regions Bank. “We are proud to support their work.”
Protecting the Most Vulnerable in Florida
Throughout Central Florida, Chapters Health System provides vital home health care services.
Keeping patients with life‐limiting illnesses and first‐line responders safe has been critical.
“Our commitment while doing hospice, palliative care and home health has been to take care of patients who are positive for COVID‐19,” said Dr. Ronald Schonwetter, Chief Medical Officer for Chapters Health.
“For all those who are diagnosed, we’ve got to wear protective personal equipment – masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection. These masks aren’t normal masks. They are respirators that filter out significant amounts of germs. We’re doing this to protect our clinical and medical staff from being exposed, and to also protect patients, where there’s been a high morbidity rate.”
Acquiring additional PPE has been a priority. Normal domestic suppliers ran out of stock three months ago, Schonwetter said, forcing Chapters Health to look beyond U.S. borders for vital supplies. That’s kept his staff and patients supplied, but at a cost that’s more than double what they were paying before.
In turn, Chapters Health has come up with innovative ways to maintain certain pieces of equipment that can be safely re‐used, and is considering turning to new sterilization protocols varying from the use of hydrogen peroxide to UV light.
“We’ve invested a lot of money in protecting our staff and patients,” Schonwetter added.
A $50,000 grant from Regions Bank has helped Chapters Health with its mission.
“We are very appreciative of the support of Regions, which has helped us support services amid COVID‐19,” Schonwetter said. “We are a not‐for‐profit organization, and we depend on external support to meet our needs. I’ve been practicing medicine for over 30 years, and I don’t remember a challenge greater than this. Yet it has been a privilege seeing everyone come together and step up to the plate.
“It’s only with the assistance from Regions and our community that we are able to do this.”
For more examples of Regions’ community support during the pandemic, click here.