The Siemens Foundation today announced it is providing $100,000 to Watts Healthcare Center (WHCC) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The community health center is one of 12 receiving financial support from the non-profit organization established by Siemens USA. Aligning with its dedication to social equity, the Siemens Foundation, including funding provided aby Siemens Healthineers, is committing a total of $1.5 million to support these critical healthcare providers so they can continue serving their communities when they are needed most.
WHCC has been recognized at the local, state and national levels as a leader in the Community Health Center (CHC) setting, and over the last five decades has grown to become one of the most comprehensive private nonprofit, community-based organizations in the nation. In 2019, WHCC offered primary care, specialty and social services to an estimated 25,000 lives at seven locations in South Los Angeles County, which includes the historic House of Uhuru, a 66-bed residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment program.
Like all other community health centers, WHCC remains on the frontline to provide essential services and joins a network of hospitals and clinics in the response to the coronavirus outbreak. WHCC has established and continuously improves strict COVID-19 screening for all employees, visitors and patients who present at each health center location. Individuals with symptoms receive further clinical assessment and care as recommended by public health guidance and WHCC’s clinical experts. Tests for the coronavirus are also performed based on the criteria the organization is following. WHCC’s response is led by its Emergency Management Team, which comprises a diverse, core group of clinical and operational leaders who support the organization’s response to any emergency incident, such as a natural disaster or an interruption of business operations.
“I remain humbled by the rapid response, engagement and commitment from the Watts Healthcare family during this national public health emergency, as well as our enhanced collaboration with new and existing public health partners. The grant will support core daily operations, which will allow us to strengthen and sustain our COVID-19 response efforts,” said Olusheyi Lawoyin, Chief Operations Officer of WHCC.
While WHCC has always had telehealth capabilities, it has quickly transitioned to and adapted the utilization of telehealth technologies to address healthcare needs during this crisis. WHCC sees its role as a health system that is expedient, continuously improves access and enhances care coordination through this crisis. Outreach to patients who are determined to be at risk for COVID-19 due to morbidity are also scheduled to be seen, as a priority. The organization will soon be offering convenient pharmacy home delivery services. Despite the strain the health center has faced, WHCC has not turned anyone away.
“This funding from Siemens comes at an opportune time and will help our healthcare workers who are significantly impacted. On behalf of our Watts community, we thank you Siemens Foundation for your thoughtful contribution,” said LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino.
WHCC was selected using equity criteria developed by the Siemens Foundation in consultation with the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, and Siemens. The center is free to use the funding as it deems necessary in response to the crisis.
“As the COVID-19 crisis disproportionately threatens lower-income and medically underserved communities, it’s important for us to support the institutions that sustain our social compact,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Community health centers and their staff are on the front lines providing primary care every day and they now play an especially critical role in our medical services infrastructure when emergency services and hospital settings are overwhelmed. Vital services like these are paramount to supporting equity across America.”
The $1.5 million total commitment is funded, in part, by the Siemens Healthineers Fund of the Siemens Foundation, supported by Siemens Healthineers business in the United States.
“It is a critical time to ensure all patients and families are able to access the care they need,” said Dave Pacitti, Siemens Foundation Board of Directors member; President of Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.; and Head of the Americas for Siemens Healthineers. “The nation’s community health centers are a vital safety net for millions of patients, and these investments will help them to continue providing affordable care that strengthens the entire U.S. healthcare system in combatting the pandemic.”
For more information on the Siemens Foundation, follow @SFoundation on Twitter or visit siemens-foundation.org.
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About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $122 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. Our mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are narrowing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. in STEM careers and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.
About Siemens Healthineers
Siemens Healthineers AG (listed in Frankfurt, Germany: SHL) is shaping the future of Healthcare. As a leading medical technology company headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide through its regional companies to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving the patient experience, and digitalizing healthcare. Siemens Healthineers is continuously developing its product and service portfolio, with AI-supported applications and digital offerings that play an increasingly important role in the next generation of medical technology. These new applications will enhance the company’s foundation in in-vitro diagnostic, image-guided therapy, and in-vivo diagnostics. Siemens Healthineers also provides a range of services and solutions to enhance healthcare providers’ ability to provide high-quality, efficient care to patients. In fiscal 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019, Siemens Healthineers, which has approximately 52,000 employees worldwide, generated revenue of €14.5 billion and adjusted profit of €2.5 billion. Further information is available at www.siemens-healthineers.com.