The Marcus Foundation, the philanthropic organization of Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, has made a $2.1 million grant to the Grady Healthcare System in order to fast-track Grady’s surge capacity plan. The money will help to stand up patient beds, which are currently down by 220 due to the flooding experienced by the hospital in late 2019.
“We have to do all we can to slow the spread of the virus and make sure our hospitals in our communities are prepared. Grady is an important part of that preparation and we salute those on the frontlines saving lives every day,” Marcus said.
The grant will provide for 52 additional patient beds in preparation for a potential surge of COVID-19 admissions. Grady says this bed expansion is a priority as they continue preparations for the peak of COVID-19 cases in Atlanta. The hospital system is also securing personal protective equipment along with other supplies needed for the safety of patients and employees.
“Thanks to the incredible generosity of The Marcus Foundation, Grady is better equipped to meet this unprecedented challenge head-on,” Grady president and CEO John Haupert said in a statement. “We are very grateful for Bernie Marcus‘ generous support and unwavering dedication to our community’s health and wellbeing. Grady and all of us who live and work in Atlanta are fortunate for the agile and transformational investments that Mr. Marcus continues to make that save and change lives.”
In the past, the foundation has also given more than $95 million to Piedmont Healthcare, including $75 million for the Marcus Tower. Piedmont said it will open three floors of the 16-floor tower, originally slated to open in August, on April 13 in order to add 132 patient beds to care for COVID-19 patients as well as non-COVID-19 patients. That move was aided by a $1 million gift from Rooms to Go Founder, President and CEO Jeff Seaman, a longtime supporter of Piedmont.
Other philanthropists have also stepped up amid the global pandemic.
Aflac Inc. Chairman Dan Amos and his wife Kathelen donated $2 million to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation announced more than $5 million in funding for immediate and long-term recovery assistance for the coronavirus crisis.