This guest blog is from Jennifer Havens, CEO of UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC)
On March 21, 2020, GRMC had confirmation of our first COVID-19 positive patient. This marks an anniversary that deserves reflection. Our team members at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell have all served a vital role – whether direct or indirect – in caring for our patients and communities during this global pandemic.
They make me proud to be a leader at GRMC. Together, our team has faced tough challenges. We have experienced personal and professional loss, and yet in the midst of so much uncertainty and change, we stood up strike teams to care for residents of our long-term care facilities. We implemented new clinic processes to keep respiratory illness separate from other illness and injury care and from those seeking well-care appointments.
We adjusted processes and protocols through the ever-changing guidance and information, to best protect ourselves, our patients and our communities while still living our mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. We expanded our telehealth options and took necessary steps to keep our hospital and clinics safe and ready to care for patients. Each day, I could count on our team members to show up with compassion and determination.
When our team felt exhausted, individuals and organizations stepped up to let us know they were with us. Yard signs, coffee cards, snacks and donations fueled us forward when we needed it most. I’m grateful for the way our communities truly sought to understand the virus and embrace mitigation efforts to protect themselves, each other and our health care heroes.
Though we are still managing COVID-19 at work and in our personal lives, it has become part of our daily operations. Our local public health team is dedicated to the ongoing administration of vaccines, leading us closer to a brighter future, where the weight of the pandemic will continue to subside.
We will undoubtedly learn more about the COVID-19 virus and variants in the coming months and years. As we move forward with cautious hope and continued efforts to keep each other safe, I want to share my genuine thanks and appreciation to the team members at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell and to our communities and patients for rallying with us in this past year and into the days ahead.
We talked with Jennifer Cogley with the Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation about how you can give locally this year. Below are the specific organizations discussed in our Facebook video but please know there are so many great organizations beyond these here in Grinnell. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions. You can call us at 641-236-6555.
Grinnell Food Coalition: This organization was launched at the beginning of the pandemic to help address the needs of food assistance as a result of job loss, hour reduction, etc. They're currently serving over 290 families and over 700 individuals. Click HERE to learn more or donate.
Poweshiek Housing Assistance Fund: This fund was started pre-pandemic but expidiated to help those who are housing insecure. Monetary donations through the Ahren's Foundation can be made HERE or donations to care packages can be made at Drake Community Library. Call the library at 641-236-2661 for more details.
Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium - JPK: Helps those seeking mental health care or assistance with prescription costs. Providers apply for individuals. Mental health needs continue to grow and more individuals will need help as we move through the pandemic and the winter months. Learn more and donate HERE.
Other Ahren's Family Foundation program information including Tiger Packs, S.H.E. Counts, and more can be found HERE.
Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation has over 200 local funds including the Grinnell-Newburg School District Foundation (helping students get access to internet services) and the Non-Profit Emergency Relief Fund. Learn more about all of their programs and donate HERE.
Small Business Relief Fund: Started by the Chamber to help our small businesses survive the pandemic. Click HERE to learn more and donate.
Chamber Champions: Support the Chamber of Commerce and our work supporting area businesses. Click HERE to learn more about this program and donation options.
Grinnell Area Arts Council: Not only can you purchase directly from local artists through their website, you can also support the organization in continuing to provide programing and opportunities for all ages in the arts. Click HERE to learn more.
Ministerial Association: Donations coming in this year have been reduced and the asks for assistance has increased. They help provide for lodging, food, gas, and other needs for people in Grinnell. To learn more and donate, call 641-236-4136.
Healthcare Organizations: All our healthcare organizations in Grinnell are non-profits. They're on the front lives of the pandemic fight. Learn more about the GRMC Foundation HERE, the St. Francis Foundation HERE, and the Mayflower Foundation HERE.
Don't forget to denote your local chapters of national organizations to make sure you donations have the biggest opportunity to support your local community.
Special thanks to the Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation for joining us to discuss these opportunities to and for their partnership as a premier investor in the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce.