As we wrapped up the most recent fiscal year this past June, we reflected on the year’s work, themes, and achievements, and let those important insights inform our strategy. What stood out for us was the necessity of not only exhibiting gratitude but offering meaningful support to the Hospital’s nurses and community care providers. After immense pandemic burnout, so many of them volunteered their time to staff the Moscone Vaccination site—vaccinating up to 9,000 San Franciscans on peak days. That’s why many of our activities focused on mental health, educational opportunities, and gestures of appreciation, both inside the Hospital and out. In the following fiscal year wrap-up, you can read more about how you played a part in promoting healing in our communities.
Our Commitment to San Francisco’s Health
Saint Francis Foundation exists to make a deeper contribution to San Francisco’s health by improving access to world-class health care for all. Since the establishment of the Foundation in 1979, approximately 95.6% of all grants have been awarded to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital—totaling more than $110M. The remaining 4.4% or $4.5M has been awarded to community nonprofit organizations that support the Hospital’s patient population. Our long-time donor’s restricted gifts to the Foundation remain designated for the purpose intended by the donor and the viability of Saint Francis Memorial. Our commitment to our community health partners, including our beloved Saint Francis, remains unchanged. We are truly grateful to our supporters.
Community Grants for Mental Health
Earlier this summer, I published a blog post proposing that health care isn’t only happening within hospitals and traditional health care settings, and that care starts and ends inside communities. The consequences of the pandemic have only increased the demand for community healthcare services. In response to this challenge, last October the Foundation announced $1M in funding available to community partners providing services addressing mental health, behavioral health, and substance use among the Hospital’s patient population. To date, seven partner organizations have received grant awards. We look forward to continuing to support strong community partnerships over the course of this fiscal year.
Inaugural Nancy Livingston Compassion Award
Nurses are truly everyday heroes. No one understood that sentiment more than Nancy Livingston, a longtime supporter of the Foundation and cherished philanthropist in San Francisco. In May, we were proud to present the inaugural Nancy Livingston Compassion Award to Nancy Eng, a Critical Care Nurse in the ICU and a Registered Nurse at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital since 2001. The Foundation will present this award annually in memory of Nancy Livingston and in honor of a nurse who exemplifies true compassion in health care.
National Nurses Week Celebration
Throughout the pandemic, nurses have served on the front lines caring for the most vulnerable patients and comforting those in their final hours without their loved ones. Our Nurses Week campaign raised funds to award a $15,000 grant in support of a Nurses Week celebration in May, providing appreciation meals, wellness prizes, education opportunities, unit decorations and more to reduce stress and improve morale.
Bothin Burn Center Remains a Critical Resource
Now in the middle of fire season, the demand for experienced burn care nurses remains critically high. The Bothin Burn Center cares for hundreds of burn victims every year and specialized burn care treatment is essential for recovery. Earlier this year, a generous Foundation donor awarded a grant to fund the Bothin Burn Center’s eight-week nurse training program. In June, a total of nine nurses completed the program, and more to come with the goal of this becoming an annual offering.
In the upcoming fiscal year, the Foundation looks forward to supporting three critical grant requests to improve the patient experience in the Bothin Burn Center’s inpatient and outpatient facilities. The Burn Center seeks to purchase a complex burn treatment laser for burns and complex wound management and update the outpatient facilities to incorporate the new laser. We also plan to fund the training of a new burn care chaplain specialist to facilitate essential emotional, mental, and spiritual care of patients and staff. We are eager to put these important projects in motion and look forward to working with Saint Francis Memorial in maintaining the leadership status of this vital Burn Center.
Gender Institute Recognized as Center of Excellence
While the COVID-19 pandemic commanded the spotlight during much of the year, the Gender Institute continued to provide world-class services to our transgender and gender non-binary communities. In June, the Hospital was the first to be internationally recognized as a Center of Excellence in Gender Confirmation Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC). We couldn’t be prouder of the Institute and its top-notch medical care providers, including Foundation board member, Heidi Wittenberg MD. Read a recent interview featuring Heidi and her work.
We are excited that our efforts to expand the Gender Institute will continue. In the upcoming fiscal year, we will support the growth of the Gender Institute with funds for the expansion of health navigation services in and out of the Hospital, invest in partnerships with community-based organizations like San Francisco Community Health Clinic, and play a role in the renovation plans for the physical space at Saint Francis Memorial.
I hope that this summer you’ve been able to find a few moments of “normalcy”—spending time with family and friends, taking a vacation, or whatever normalcy means to you—before we head into the uncertainty of variants and boosters. We promise to keep you updated regularly and, as a reminder, I am always available via phone or email to answer questions or just stay connected.
President, Saint Francis Foundation
Photo credits: Nursing Times, Britannica, Medline Industries