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Helping the Heroes

Elizabeth Dale

For nearly two centuries, Jefferson has endured through the darkest trials of our country.

The Civil War, when more Jefferson physicians took to the battlefields than from any other medical school and alumnus Jonathan Letterman (1849) established the first field ambulance. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, when our students stepped up to meet the City’s unprecedented need for healthcare workers (see p. 32). Two World Wars, when Jefferson organized the famous United States Army Base Hospital No. 38 and expanded on its tradition of service to the country. September 11.

We will get through these turbulent times as well.

As done during the last pandemic over 100 years ago, our faculty, students, and alumni responded with formidable talent, thorough expertise, and selfless dedication. COVID-19 showed us the very best in humanity.

True heroes are all around us. They’re here in abundance at Jefferson—on the front lines and behind the scenes.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the world and challenged Jefferson to new levels. Along the way, it created severe financial hardships for thousands of Jefferson employees and students. But our alumni and community of friends rose up to give aid and comfort—to show that we are better together.

In mid-March, Jefferson President and CEO Dr. Stephen K. Klasko made a $100,000 gift to launch the COVID-19 Better Together Fund, which rushes aid to Jefferson frontline staff, employees, and students whose lives have been shaken by coronavirus.

Senior leadership contributed over $400,000 to the cause. The Boards of Trustees gave nearly $900,000. In total we created a fund with over $7 million that helped over 4,600 members of our Jefferson family through these challenging times.

The COVID-19 Better Together Fund meant so much to so many of our Jefferson family members. For one employee, it meant being able to pay for food and rent. Another was grateful it helped care for an elderly parent. And one just felt heartened because it “reaffirmed that humanity and compassion still exist in these difficult times.”

Thank you to the many alumni who answered the call and who faced down COVID-19. We’re not only “in it together,” we’re better together.

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD, MPA
Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer
Office of Institutional Advancement