As nonprofit healthcare systems Lee Health and NCH continue to lead Southwest Florida’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, community partners are answering the call for much needed regional support. One such partner is long-time benefactor of both healthcare systems, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, which celebrated the two organizations’ collaboration with a $40,000 donation when they learned of the “SWFL Stronger Together” campaign.

On the frontline of the crisis serving the community and collaborating on all fronts, Lee Health and NCH are sharing policies, action plans and media updates, coordinating outreach efforts, working together to re-open surgeries, and continuing to work on on-going training for team members as we adjust to the new normal. The “SWFL Stronger Together” campaign continues to raise funds and other support for the healthcare systems and professionals as we look to work through the continued challenges presented by COVID-19.

“There is a very real need for humanitarian services, and the effect on the economy will be enduring, but among the immediate needs is our healthcare providers and systems,” said Chris Simoneau, Chief Foundation and Development Officer. “Lee Health has been feeding our people at a cost of $17,000 per week, and supplying more iPads and other technology support to keep everyone in our hospitals connected. These are just a couple examples of the impacts of this pandemic for the foreseeable future and every dollar aides our teams in helping our healthcare heroes who are serving this community.”

The needs change on a daily basis, but the need for supportive funding does not. The gift from Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and others like it are providing critical resources to support doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. Funds are being used to buy additional equipment and supplies needed such as ventilators, masks, gowns and build back our supplies of PPE and other resources depleted over the last 60

days. We continue to provide better care for all patients and manage the changing landscape of the crisis by increasing technology resources like iPads to bridge the challenges of communication during the current restricted visitor policy, and ensuring healthcare workers are supported. More than 150 restaurants and businesses across the Southwest Florida community have also contributed meals, care packages, footwear, as well as plants and flowers.

“The support we have received during these trying times has been tremendous,” said Troy Munn, Associate Chief Development Officer for NCH Center for Philanthropy. “The Schulze Family Foundation’s gift and, indeed, every gift the SWFL Stronger Together campaign receives, makes a significant difference in allowing our organizations to focus on the care and wellbeing of our communities.” For more information or to make an online donation to SWFL Stronger Together, visit SWFLtogether.org. Resources through this site also include free telehealth information, hotlines, COVID-19 news and updates, as well as an “Ask the Experts” forum.

About The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation began its work in 2004 with the charge from its founder to support transformational change for the benefit of mankind. The Foundation has consistently directed its primary efforts and resources toward matters of importance in human & social services, education, and health & medicine. It continues to do so today with a focus on investments that produce specific and measurable outcomes with a geographic emphasis on the Twin Cities (Minnesota) seven-county metropolitan area and Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry & Glades counties in Florida. In all of its activities, the foundation embraces its founder’s beliefs in the value of innovation and in improving the lives of middle- and working-class families.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at LeeHealth.org.

About NCH Healthcare System

The NCH Healthcare System is a not-for-profit, multi-facility healthcare system located in Naples, Florida, and is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The System is more than just two hospitals (referred to as the NCH Baker Hospital and NCH North Naples Hospital) with a total of 713 beds. NCH is an alliance of 775 physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Collier County and southwest Florida that offers nationally recognized, quality health care to our community. Our mission is to help everyone live a longer, happier, healthier life. For more information, visit www.NCHmd.org.