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The Healthcare Foundation Awards over $1 Million in Grants to Help SMH Fight the Spread of COVID-19


MARCH 20, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Healthcare Foundation approved a supplemental grant to SMH of over $1,000,000 to help fight COVID-19. Funds directed to SMH will augment equipment currently in use at the hospital, enhance cleaning and infection control, and to assist hospital staff with this challenging pandemic.

“Helping SMH provide excellent healthcare to our community is the very core of our mission,” said Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation President, Mason Ayres. “With the critical nature of this pandemic, we immediately asked our hospital partner ‘How can we help?’ and moved quickly to direct funds where the hospital said they needed them the most.”

Grants included items such as:

$368,023 for Hamilton MR1 Ventilators provided through a gift from the Louis & Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust. These ventilators are specifically designed to ventilate and shield patients in the vicinity of an MRI scanner.

$157,500 for the BioFire Film Array Torch that provides the latest in molecular infectious disease diagnostics and designed to meet SMH’s infectious disease testing needs.

$255,885 for three Tru-D Smart UVC Disinfection Robots to enhance infection control at the health system¹s long- and short-term skilled nursing facilities, at the main campus and North Port ER. The hospital already has three Tru-D robots cleaning the hospital.

$74,671 for Audio/Video Telemedicine Communication Carts that will be used by clinicians to help assess COVID-19 patients who are in isolation, facilitating physician consults and minimizing clinician exposure to the patients.

$30,000 for Vapotherm Precision Flow Plus, a device that provides humidified high-flow oxygen to patients in respiratory distress.

“In preparation for the possibility of additional COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospital, we are very appreciative that the Healthcare Foundation is providing additional resources to benefit our patients and to help protect the physicians and staff who care for them,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO, David Verinder.

The Healthcare Foundation has gratefully acknowledged that a number of generous community members have expressed a desire to help during this time. In an effort to accommodate those requests, a special COVID-19 Patient Care Fund has been established. 

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