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published on May 5, 2020 - 3:00 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia has launched a relief fund to help its employees who have seen reduced hours or have been furloughed due to the decrease in patients in need of care.

The Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation approved the use of Kaweah Delta’s Employee Relief Fund, which normally goes to help employees experiencing hardship due to emergencies, said Director of the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation Elizabeth Wynn.

“We want to support our KD family members, as we know this is just a temporary reduction. This is a tangible way that we can tell our staff that we care, we want them to come back, and we need them,” Wynn said. “Unfortunately, the financial impacts could last for years for those who are affected by the furloughs or reduction in hours. We wanted a way for our staff to support one another, and our community has been so generous in asking how to help during this pandemic.”

The foundation will be accepting donations for the fund through the end of July.

Hospital staff members can sign up to have a portion of their paycheck go to the fund beginning with their May 8th paycheck.

Employees who were already donating to the Mind Over Matter campaign that supported technology for the hospital’s neurosciences program and local cancer care are automatically enrolled in this campaign.

“We have a strong employee payroll deduction program with over 50% of our 5,000-person workforce voluntarily donating from their paychecks every two weeks,” Wynn said. “We had just completed our Mind Over Matter Campaign and thought what better way to support our family than by directing those funds to an employee relief effort.”

Recently Kaweah Delta also opened a Kaweah Care Break Room to give employees a chance to take a break, eat a meal while practicing social distancing, listen to music, and visit the resiliency and wellness station.

“Staff are here because they are passionate about taking care of people and this is that moment. This is what they do and what they do well,” said Laura Goddard, Kaweah Delta’s director of organization development. “We are trying to anticipate their needs and either enhance things we were already doing or do more to support them.

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