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Salinas Rotary Supports COVID-19 Families

Salinas Rotary Supports COVID-19 Families

Monterey County families devastated by the impact of COVID-19 are finding support with the help of a collaborative alliance between Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS), Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation (SVMH Foundation) and the Salinas Rotary. A successful fundraising effort by the Salinas Rotary resulted in a $22,250 donation to a unique program helping local families who were served by SVMH and affected by the death of a loved one during the pandemic.

“Salinas Rotary saw the generous work SVMHS was doing outside the four walls of the hospital,” said Tiffany DiTullio, Salinas Rotary, the Downtown Club, President. “The support they are providing the community during this pandemic is truly remarkable. Our membership felt strongly that we wanted to be a part of these efforts, delivering direct care those to those most in need.”

The fundraising efforts benefit a program, designed and delivered by Social Workers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, focused on responding to families financially impacted by the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19. Social Workers provide emotional support and resources to COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized and their families, and often hear of the financial struggles faced when there is the loss of a primary wage earner in the household. The Salinas Rotary donation funds a specific initiative to provide financial assistance for basic needs for these families that are struggling as a result of the loss of a close family member.

“Families affected have lost more than their loved one. Many times they’ve also lost a significant portion of their household income,” says Kim De Serpa, LCSW, Lead Social Worker at SVMHS. “Our hope is that vulnerable families feel a caring connection with the community and know they are not mourning alone.”

While the Social Services team is part of the Healthcare System operations, resources like these and other COVID-19 patient and community support efforts are funded directly by the generosity of donors to SVMH Foundation. The Foundation is grateful to the Salinas Rotary and its membership for supporting this initiative with funds raised at their annual holiday meeting. De Serpa and Foundation CEO, Jeff Wardwell accepted the check, presented by Tiffany DiTullio, at a recent public SVMH Board of Directors meeting.

“Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is known for its exceptional patient care and high standard of quality,” said Jeff Wardwell, Chief Philanthropy Officer of SVMHS / CEO of SVMH Foundation. “The Foundation and its supporters are one way we maintain those high standards for all who use these services. When we have respected organizations like Salinas Rotary recognize our commitment, it reaffirms our mission of supporting the health and wellness of our entire community. We are grateful to every Rotary member who donated their time, talent and money to make this important donation possible.”

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