Amid the ongoing directives of physical distancing, sheltering in place and wearing masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UCLA philanthropic partners continued their giving to support personal protective equipment (PPE) for the frontline health care workers and research to speed the path to treatments and a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Since the pandemic began, the university has received 3,470 cash gifts specifically for COVID-19 relief totaling more than $17 million, in addition to numerous in-kind gifts. The W. M. Keck Foundation stepped forward with the largest single gift to date to help combat the pandemic, a $2 million contribution to the UCLA W. M. Keck Foundation COVID-19 Research Fund. This is supporting basic-science projects aimed at understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the mechanisms by which it causes disease, developing new methods to detect infection, understanding why some individuals are more susceptible to life-threatening disease than others and developing effective new therapies to treat COVID-19 infection.
With this support, and the donations from numerous other philanthropists, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is catalyzing transformative research and funding more than 40 projects to develop novel diagnostics and lifesaving therapeutics and prevention strategies.
“As the threat of COVID-19 became known, scientists in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA immediately began mobilizing high-impact research to identify an effective way to test for SARS-CoV-2, determine how the coronavirus develops and discover pathways to overcome it,” said Dr. Kelsey C. Martin, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Gerald S. Levey, M.D., Endowed Chair. “We are deeply grateful to the generous members of our community who have contributed vital resources to our COVID-19 research efforts, altering the course of this pandemic and shaping the future of our city and world.”
Other giving included in-kind donations of 2 million PPE, such as face shields and coverings, N95 and surgical masks and protective eyewear, and gifts directed to patient care, research, education and mental health. More than 36,000 food items were donated, and UCLA’s partnership with Help Feed the Frontline Fighting COVID-19 in Los Angeles provided almost 22,000 meals. Philanthropic partners also donated hand sanitizers, thermometers and care packages.
“The support of our donor community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant so much to our health care providers and staff,” said Johnese Spisso, MPA, president of UCLA Health, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences. “We are grateful for this outpouring of gifts that helps us meet the needs of our patients.”
For more information, contact Ellen Haddigan-Durgun at:310-321-8366