04.03.2020

Illumination Fund Earmarks New Donation to Help Hospital Staff Through the NYC Health + Hospitals COVID-19 Relief Fund


Donation builds on the Illumination Fund’s continuous support for healthcare workers at NYC Health + Hospitals


NYC Health + Hospitals seeks additional donations to provide equipment and support staff with urgent supplies as well as to temporarily hire new staff

Post COVID-19’s immediate crisis, funds will shift to mental health needs of frontline hospital workers suffering from PTSD and stress disorders


New York, NY, April 3, 2020—In response to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis in New York City, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has increased its support to New York City Health + Hospitals, with an additional $500,000 to the newly formed COVID-19 Relief Fund, bringing the Illumination Fund’s support for New York’s public hospital system to more than $2 million.

Along with basic supplies, ventilators and masks, New York City needs philanthropic funds to support the purchase of meals, pre-packaged groceries, hotel rooms, laundry service, and scrubs as well as to bring in thousands of additional medical professionals to handle the surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. The Mayor has called on the federal government to supply more than 1,000 nurses, 3,000 respiratory therapists, and 150 doctors to support hospital staff across the City.

NYC Health + Hospitals is accepting monetary donations for the COVID-19 RELIEF FUND online through Network for Good.

“Our hospitals need an enormous amount of help right now just dealing with the public health crisis at hand,” said Laurie M. Tisch, President and Founder of the Illumination Fund. “We are proud to help them address urgent needs of the moment across all departments.  But frontline healthcare workers have been under terrible stress over many months, and once we begin to come out the other side of the crisis, they will need mental health support to process the trauma they have experienced during the epidemic. We are working with the public hospitals to stay one step ahead and ensure the support is there. To that end, half of our funds will go directly to support New York City Health + Hospitals’ Helping Healers Heal program, led by Dr. Eric Wei, MD, MBA.”

“Our healthcare professionals are extremely vulnerable right now,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Quality Officer Dr. Eric Wei, MD, MBA. “Our staff is working long hours, often separated from their loved ones to minimize exposing their families from undue risk. We want to provide as many resources as possible, as quickly as possible so they can continue to provide the best care to patients. All of our lives may depend on them, and their lives may depend on us.”

To join the COVID-19 Relief Fund campaign, visit https://nychhc.networkforgood.com/. Every donation will go directly to hire and support healthcare workers during these unprecedented times. In an abundance of caution as COVID-19 spreads in our community, and with the increased global shortages of supplies, the healthcare system is not accepting material donations such as personal protective equipment (PPE) or surgical masks to ensure supplies meet medical grade standards.

About the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that strives to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities.  The Illumination Fund plays an active role in supporting innovative approaches across a range of issues – ensuring that the arts and arts education are accessible to all, increasing access to healthy food, promoting civic service, and promoting economic opportunity. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding. The new initiative’s areas of focus have included the unique role of the arts in addressing mental illness stigma, trauma, and aging-related diseases. Last year, the Illumination Fund supported the creation of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine Program, expanding programs serving health care staff, patients, and communities in sites across the City. The grant also enabled NYC Health + Hospitals to launch new programs that use the arts as a resource to promote employee wellness and resilience and to combat compassion fatigue. For more information, visit www.lmtif.org or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.