The Dedication of Front-Line Health Care Workers Motivates $2 Million in Support

Leadership contributions bolster thousands of generous gifts to care for the caregivers and fuel the COVID-19 response.

By MargaretAnn Cross
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Joseph Kolars, M.D., and Amy Huang, M.D., receive donated PPE from China on behalf of Michigan Medicine.
Joseph Kolars, M.D., and Amy Huang, M.D., receive donated PPE from China on behalf of Michigan Medicine.

From the time Michigan Medicine began seeing patients with COVID-19 in March, friends of the health system — many of whom who have supported patient care, research, and education philanthropically for years — reached out to see how they could help. Michigan Medicine launched a COVID-19 Philanthropic Fund; a Michigan Medicine Employee Emergency Need Fund; and a collection drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other in-kind donations.

Nearly 5,000 new donors to Michigan Medicine joined the effort, and as of June 25, more than 10,000 financial contributions totaled $2 million. Support included 820 donations of $25 or less and more than 1 million items of PPE.

Tencent Holdings LTD, of Shenzhen, China, sent 150,000 surgical masks to Michigan Medicine as part of a global commitment to helping caregivers during this crisis.

“Tencent is pleased to join others in supporting the front-line medical professionals and researchers fighting selflessly for all of us at this critical time,” says Martin Lau, a U-M alumnus and president of Tencent, a leading global technology company. “U-M and Michigan Medicine have established great partnerships around the world, including in China, and this support is an important way to help carry that spirit forward.”

“Support from our friends and our community has been overwhelming — it truly is humbling,” says Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Medical School, executive vice president for medical affairs, and CEO of Michigan Medicine. “All of the ways people are helping — from gifts that assist our front line workers to online messages that bolster our spirits — allow us to stay focused on what matters most during this crisis.”

To learn more about ways to be a part of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 response, please visit giving.medicine.umich.edu/covid-19.