CARBONDALE, IL — A relief fund is helping local health care workers and the community they serve. It's called the SIH COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Being a health care professional has never been easy. Add a pandemic to the mix, and the stress level increases substantially. Vice President of Community Affairs Woody Thorne with Southern Illinois Healthcare said they're handling it the best they can.
"A lot of credit goes to the people working in our hospitals and clinics doing all the testing, as well as folks in the hospital. People are working hard to meet people's needs," Thorne said.
As more people are treated, the medical staff's personal protective equipment decreases. They've started raising donations through the SIH COVID-19 Relief Fund to help out. So far, they've raised $10,000.
"There's a limited supply right now of these life-saving supplies, so we've been very carefully conserving the supplies as they're used in our facilities. Beyond that, we are really benefiting from donations of some of these supplies from businesses and people from the community," said Thorne.
People like Bernie Henneberger and his best friend Daren Haney stepped up and made face shields for the SIH team.
Haney died unexpectedly on April 11. Henniberger plans to continue making and donating face shields in Haney's honor.
"It's a way for us to make a difference. There seems to be a real need. Daren was really passionate about it up until he died. I feel like it's the right thing to do," said Henniberger.
Together, they donated 200 face shields to SIH that will be used to protect healthcare workers.
"When we protect the health care provider, we protect all the patients," said Thorne.
Half of the money from the SIH COVID-19 relief fund will go towards helping community-based agencies like homeless shelters. If you're interested in donating, click here.