Since its founding, the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation has been dedicated to coordinating charitable giving to support community benefit and education programs, the needs of seven hospitals and various outpatient centers and provide resources to meet the needs of the most vulnerable patients, promote health and lifelong wellness in the local communities and support its workforce.
With nearly 100 different funds that benefit the hospitals, as well as the community, the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation invests locally in the resources and people that continually make the life-changing medicine of UPMC of Central Pennsylvania a reality. All money raised by the Foundation remains in Central Pennsylvania to support programs and services at UPMC of Central Pennsylvania.
One such program recently underwent some innovative changes to better reflect UPMC in Central Pennsylvania’s dedication to its health care workers and gratefulness for the work they do every day. As the COVID-19 pandemic added numerous challenges for the health care industry, including employee burnout, turnover and a critical caregiver shortage, the foundation recognized the need to better boost morale and lift the spirits of its frontline caregivers.
To do so, it collaborated with physicians, nurses, hospital staff and patients to shift the focus of its popular Grateful Patient Program from a program centered around donations to one that is focused on uplifting the selfless staff at UPMC in Central Pennsylvania and recognizing them for their kindness, skill and compassion. The words of gratitude and the video or audio interviews collected from patients who have received exceptional care are then shared with caregivers.
The umbrella of the Grateful Patient Program also extends to cover two other initiatives, a Year of Gratitude (to collect 365 patient stories and words of thanks in 2021) and the inaugural Annual Day of Gratitude, which had UPMC Pinnacle Foundation staff onsite at various UPMC in Central Pennsylvania locations to collect words of thanks from patients and staff.