There is hope in the reality that we are finally returning to the social lives we put on hold for 19 months. There is gratitude in knowing that our health care system – globally, nationally, and locally – and donors like you got us to this point.

Thanks to you and the support of our community, we can equip a medical center with the talent, technology, and infrastructure to respond to unprecedented health care challenges. During the coronavirus pandemic, Overlook’s health care heroes successfully treated thousands of COVID-positive patients in our Summit and Union Emergency Departments and discharged to recovery hundreds of inpatients – all while caring for non-COVID patients and welcoming 300 healthy babies! People came here because we had earned their trust after more than a century of caring for our communities. They knew that – whenever or whatever the need – compassionate, world-class care is conveniently close to home.

We didn’t build a nationally recognized medical center overnight. We built it over time, and we built it with your generosity. Your gifts paid lifesaving dividends during the coronavirus pandemic, and they will continue to pay dividends in the future!

Here are two examples of how your gifts to the Overlook Foundation helped our entire medical center pivot and respond to a global pandemic.

Emergency Preparedness and Response Training – Shortly before COVID-19 came to Summit, the Foundation funded extensive training among the emergency department and nursing staff to identify, treat, and prevent the transmission of suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (a possible threat at the time) and other emerging infectious diseases. Although COVID was unlike anything any health care organization had ever seen, the training proved extremely beneficial in managing our response.

Virtual Support From The Thomas Glasser Caregivers Center – When limitations on visitors and gatherings were imposed during the pandemic, staff members at the Foundation-funded Caregivers Center quickly adopted virtual strategies to support and comfort families of COVID-positive patients through their darkest days.  Music and expressive writing workshops, Qigong and Tai Chi were offered via Zoom. Caregivers Center staff members telephoned and FaceTimed with families, provided bereavement support for those who lost loved ones, and even assisted with funeral arrangements. Partnering with Overlook’s Palliative Care Program, the Center produced a video memorial service, honoring patients and care team members who lost their lives during the spring 2020 pandemic surge.

Current examples of your donor dollars at work include:

  • Hersh Children’s Center – The new 12,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, linking the Meri and Sol Barer Inpatient Pediatric Center (formerly housed on Overlook’s 6th floor) to the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department, provides better coordinated care for patients up to 21 years of age in one centralized location. By consolidating pediatric emergency and inpatient services, our pediatric patients will be treated by the same clinical care team throughout their stay, dramatically reducing the need to transport patients elsewhere in the hospital.
  • New HVAC System – We are currently raising funds to upgrade the HVAC system in all critical care areas so that entire inpatient units can be converted into negative pressure rooms at the flip of a switch. This capital improvement investment helps protect infected patients and prevent the spread of infectious disease to other areas of the hospital. It improves upon the measures we took to upgrade 155 patient rooms – as well as an entire 32-bed wing – to negative pressure when the pandemic arrived at our doorstep and better prepares us should the need arise again.
  • Zeiss Kinevo® 900 Microscope – Renowned neurosurgeons at the Foundation-funded Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center, now have a surgeon-controlled robotic visualization tool that allows them to identify the borders of brain tumors with greater ease, including many difficult-to-reach regions of the brain and base of the skull.

Caring donors like you have consistently stepped up to meet Overlook’s immediate needs. Now is the time to make a gift that will impact our community’s health for decades. As you celebrate the holiday season with hope and gratitude, there is no better time to make an investment in the health of your family, friends, and neighbors.

Your contributions have brought world-class care conveniently close to home and, more recently, helped us pivot and respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Help us keep this exemplary level of preparedness for whatever the future may hold…a future that belongs to you!