Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Commits $1.5 Million to Support Front Line Caregivers in Acute Care Hospitals in Western New York and Southeast Michigan

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Commits $1.5 Million to Support

Front Line Caregivers in Acute Care Hospitals in Western New York and Southeast Michigan 

Commitment is part of Foundation’s $6 Million emergency response to-date related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Detroit, MI /Buffalo, NY (April 16, 2020) – Over the past four weeks, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation (RCWJRF) has allocated more than $6 million toward COVID-19 response efforts, including a recently announced commitment of $1.5 million to support caregivers on the front lines of COVID-19 at acute care hospitals in Southeast Michigan and Western New York.

“As our communities struggle during this time of uncertainty and crisis, our team felt it was vital to act immediately to provide funding and relief to groups and organizations within our focused giving areas, and larger collaborative funds supporting our regions,” said David Egner, president and CEO, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “We will continue to work through these extremely difficult times with our neighbors, our grantees, and our partners, and rise to the challenges ahead.”

The $1.5 million in support for acute care hospitals will be divided accordingly among the following health systems in Southeast Michigan and Western New York:

Southeast Michigan:

·       Ascension Michigan

·       Beaumont Health

·       Detroit Medical Center

·       Henry Ford Health System

·       McLaren Health Care

·       St. Joseph Mercy Health System

·       Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan

·       Veterans Health Administration – John D. Dingell VA Medical Center


Western New York:

·       Brooks-TLC Hospital System

·       Catholic Health

·       Eastern Niagara Hospital

·       Great Lakes Health System of WNY (Erie County Medical Center/Kaleida Health)

·       Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

·       Rochester Regional Health

·       UPMC Chautauqua

·       University of Rochester Medical Center

·       Buffalo VA Medical Center

·       Wyoming County Community Health System

It is the Foundation’s intention that the funds will be primarily directed to help caregivers on the front lines of COVID-19, including nurse aides, environmental and food services staff, and others who may not have access to as many financial and social supports and are playing equally critical roles in the healthcare system every day.

Egner continued, “Caregivers on the front lines of COVID-19 put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of others and work tirelessly, day in and day out. It’s critical that they too are cared for. Our trustees and staff have been touched by stories shared by our grantees about frontline hospital workers accessing basic needs like childcare, transportation, and healthy meals. We hope these grant funds play a role in providing some comfort to these crucial workers.”

As part of its overall $6 million investments, the Foundation has provided $2 million in support for the Southeast Michigan and Western New York communities through the following COVID-19 collaborative funds:

Southeast Michigan:

·       United Way for Southeastern Michigan: COVID-19 Community Response Fund ($500,000)

·       Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan: Community Crisis Fund ($500,000)

Western New York:

·       Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo: WNY COVID-19 Community Response Funds ($700,000)

·       United Way of Greater Rochester & Rochester Area Community Foundation: Community Crisis Fund     ($200,000)

·       United Way for Southern Chautauqua County: Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund: COVID-19 ($100,000)

An additional $2.5 million has also been granted to various organizations in both regions to support urgent needs related to caregivers, small businesses and entrepreneurs, nonprofits and early childhood care.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, which has been up and running since 2015, focuses its giving in four key areas: Active Lifestyles; Preparing for Success; Caregivers; and Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. The COVID-19 investments will impact all of the Foundation’s focus areas.  For more information, visit: RCWJRF.org.


About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org.


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