Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awards $750,000 to support Banner Health during COVID-19
PHOENIX (May 1, 2020) – Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded an unrestricted grant of $750,000 to the Banner Health Foundation. Banner leadership has chosen to allocate these funds to the Supporting Our Staff (SOS) Fund to help its health care workforce during this challenging time.
Established in 2011, the SOS Fund provides financial assistance to qualifying employees facing a temporary financial hardship. Through Banner Health’s annual employee giving campaign, Banner’s own employees have collectively contributed more than $1 million to the SOS Fund over the past nine years to assist their co-workers in times of need. Some 2,000 employees have received financial assistance from the SOS Fund during that time.
In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees, Banner leaders recently expanded the SOS program to provide more support and to assist employees specifically with child care expenses in addition to hardships such as evicition, foreclosure, imminent shut-off of vital utilities, and more. Over the past month, applications for assistance have grown from an average of a dozen per month to more than 450.
“So many of our health care providers and hospital team members are on the front lines every day, without the option of staying home with young children needing care. Life goes on even during a pandemic, meaning the usual factors that can create a hardship for employees still exist and may even be amplified,” said Naomi Cramer, Chief Human Resources Officer for Banner Health. “We understand the demands our team members are facing at work and at home, and we are proud to be able to offer this financial assistance to help ease the burden.”
“We are so grateful to the Piper Trust for this generous investment in the well-being of our employees, who are our community’s true superheroes during this pandemic,” said Andy Kramer Petersen, President & CEO of the Banner Health Foundation. “Because of this support, so many more members of our valued workforce will be able to access funds to help them through this challenging time.”
As a show of support for employees, the entire senior leadership team and the entire board of directors for Banner Health also made personal gifts to the SOS Fund in recent weeks. Community members have made donations large and small, including the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation with a $50,000 donation and CopperPoint Insurance Companies with a $10,000 donation.
Those interested in making a tax-deductible donation can do so online at give.bannerhealth.com/coronavirus.
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com.