Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awards $750,000 to Banner Health
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Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded $750,000 in unrestricted funds to the Banner Health Foundation to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Banner leadership chose 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 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 to date.
In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees, Banner recently expanded the SOS program to provide more support and to assist employees specifically with childcare expenses in addition to hardships such as eviction, 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 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 difficult 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.
Learn about all the ways our communities have stepped up to help Banner Health in this video message from Peter S. Fine, President & CEO, to Banner Health employees.