MONTEREY, CA – A Carmel couple moved by the work of local “medical warriors” has made an inspiring lead gift of $500,000 to Montage Health Foundation and is challenging community members to join in supporting the work of those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the greatest health crisis of the last 100 years,” says Paul Baszucki, who made the contribution with his wife Helen. “With this gift, we are letting the entire medical team know that we support you and appreciate your hard work. You are fighting and risking your health every day to treat patients and save lives. We hope to inspire every person in our community to give what they can as well, to show you that we are in this with you.”
Kevin Causey, head of Montage Health Foundation, said initially the foundation was concerned about reaching out to the community when so many are facing economic challenges. But then the community came to Montage Health, offering support.
“As the first positive cases were identified in Monterey County, the Baszuckis called. Then others reached out,” Causey says. “They wanted to know what they could do to support the hospital, and particularly our healthcare workers who are bravely serving our community on the front lines of this crisis. So to meet the unprecedented need before us, and the desire of the community to help, we have launched this donor-inspired drive.”
The Baszuckis said they were compelled to give, despite the uncertain economy.
“Even in this volatile financial market, giving what we can lets our medical warriors know we are with them,” Baszucki says. “We are happy to support Montage Health and its emergency response to the coronavirus at this critical time.”
The Baszuckis’ gift and other funds from the community will be used to provide critical resources for patients and healthcare workers at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and the other entities of Montage Health.
“While we anticipate and prepare for emergencies, the worldwide spread of COVID-19 is unparalleled in our lifetimes,” says Steven Packer, president/CEO of Montage Health. “Having the community join us in the fight against this pandemic is an incredible boost in morale for our dedicated healthcare providers and staff.”
As the number of COVID-19 cases was growing around the world, Montage Health began preparing for the virus’ inevitable arrival in Monterey County. Preparedness plans that have been regularly practiced were put in place, and countless actions are being taken to protect the health and safety of patients, staff, and the community.
All of this has come at a cost, to the organization and staff.
To prepare for and rapidly respond to a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, Montage Health dramatically suspended or reduced non-urgent services. Scaling back these services reduces transmission risk and ensures additional hospital beds are available if needed. But it has also caused revenue to drop by more than one-third. At the same time, costs for protective equipment, emergency supplies, and critical-care staffing are escalating.
Donations to the foundation’s COVID Most Critical Need Fund will help us continue to provide critical resources for patients and healthcare workers, including:
• Medical supplies such as personal protective equipment — masks, gloves, eye protection —for caregivers. Though we were well stocked, use has multiplied and will only continue to grow
• Additional medical equipment for the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients
• Supplemental staffing that may be needed in the event of a surge or extended pandemic
• Support for staff as they work through this challenging time
“We are so grateful for the gift from the Baszuckis, which gives our new COVID-19 Emergency Response fundraising drive a strong start in covering some of these unanticipated costs,” Causey says. “We hope their generosity will inspire everyone in our community to give. What matters as much as the funds we raise is to show how many people are standing up and supporting the work of our incredible front-line teams. Our community has always been there for Community Hospital and Montage Health, and you ensure that we can be there at times like these, when you need us most.”
For those who would like to make a donation to Montage Health Foundation’s Most Critical Need Fund, visit MontageHealthFoundation.org.
About Montage Health
Montage Health is the local, nonprofit parent company of a family of organizations dedicated to improving lives by delivering exceptional care and inspiring the pursuit of optimal health. Through its subsidiaries and its partnerships with doctors and other clinicians, healthcare and community organizations, and, most importantly community members, Montage Health is dedicated to care that is coordinated across all care settings to meet each person’s goals and needs. Montage Health companies include Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Montage Medical Group, Montage Health Foundation, Montage Wellness Center, Aspire Health Plan, and Community Health Innovations. MontageHealth.org
About Montage Health Foundation
Montage Health Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving that enhances and improves the health of the entire community. Gifts to the foundation take healthcare to the homeless, build mental health programs for young people, recruit primary care doctors and specialists, teach kids to eat better and exercise more, sustain a hospital that sustains the community, and much more. The foundation is guided by a board of community members who are passionate about the work and impact of Montage Health and its family of companies, including Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Call (831) 658-3630 or visit mhfdn.org for more information. MontageHealthFoundation.org