Healthcare Foundation of La Porte creates online hub for COVID-19 resources

Healthcare Foundation of La Porte creates online hub for COVID-19 resources
By: Stacey Kellogg Last Updated: March 23, 2020

Board to consider emergency grant funding options Wednesday

The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte has leveraged its strong relationships with local officials, community members, and organizations to create what will become a comprehensive online resource for those looking for La Porte County’s COVID-19 pandemic response information.

The site – which can be found here – is a reliable source for current information regarding local community resources and updates from trusted sources locally, state-wide, and nationally. It is divided into four tabs:

  • Local Community Resources – includes info on school meal programs, food pantries, mobile meals, and more.
  • Health information – information on how to stay well and respond to health concerns at the local level
  • Government & Hospitals COVID-19 updates – the latest statements and updates from local hospitals, government entities such as the Indiana State Department of Health and the Governor, and more.
  • Local Community Needs – A list of organizations who are accepting volunteer assistance, donations, and more. This is the place to come if you want to help your community.

“This is a time of uncertainty for all and the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte is in a good position to coordinate resource information for our county. This is right in line with Healthcare Foundation of La Porte’s mission to build healthier communities,” said Maria Fruth, President and CEO of HFL. “We will keep this site updated as efficiently as possible with current information and welcome any individuals to share their information with us for each of these sections. Just email contact@hflaporte.org.”

“Maria has been way out front in bringing together local government leaders, school officials, food banks, health agencies, sand other groups to create a well-organized response to this challenge. The Foundation has been proactive from day one,” said Jeff Bernel, HFL Board Chairman.

In fact, at the HFL board meeting on March 25, the board will consider and hopefully vote on a plan to provide emergency grant funding to qualifying organizations who are responding to the pandemic.

“This plan will be designed to grant emergency funds to organizations fulfilling our immediate needs as we respond to the pandemic, but it also will address long-term plans to provide funding that our local not-for-profits and other organizations will need to effectively emerge from this crisis,” Fruth said.

Grants likely will be prioritized for organizations working to combat food insecurity, and those helping at-risk populations such as the elderly. They also will address emergency response medical supplies and other operational expenses that not-for-profits may have while responding to the pandemic.

The coordination and response on the part of the HFL is ever more important in light of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recent order on March 23 requiring all Hoosiers to shelter in place.

The HFL expects the application process for emergency funding to be simple so funds can be granted swiftly. Depending on board action Wednesday, they will release plans to the community on how organizations may apply as soon as possible.

Community members who are able and want to help where there are local needs can visit the Local Community Needs tab on the HFL COVID-19 Hub.

“We have had many people inquiring about how they can help, and this speaks to the true nature of our communities in times of crisis in La Porte County. We are happy to create an online place where neighbors can go to learn how to help each other,” Fruth said.

In the meantime, Fruth urges the community to adhere to state and CDC guidelines, and visit the HFL COVID-19 Hub for current information. Anyone who has updates or new information for the page may email contact@hflaporte.org.