COVID-19 prevention education
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic the Gogebic Range Health Foundation board of directors initiated conversations about the impact to our communities, organizations, businesses and residents. Executive Director, Andrea Newby, explained that the organization follows a strategic plan for distributing funding but we knew that we had to respond in a way that made an impact and had the broadest reach to both Iron County and Gogebic county.
In rural areas like Iron County, WI and Gogebic County, MI the public health departments are the main source for resources and information during a health crisis. Recognizing that the local health departments are the health experts in our communities it made sense for GRHF to help support their efforts. In May of 2020 GRHF initiated a fundraiser and raised over 10k, with generous donations from both community members and the local business community.
The Health Department will utilize the funds for COVID-19 prevention education and messaging as well as assisting us to support the bringing in of state resources. Specifically in Iron County, funds will, support efforts to assist front line workers and the community through the response to COVID-19, personal protective equipment, technologies for communication in vulnerable populations, assist in outreach with current program modifications-reproductive health, mental health, signage, cleaning supplies for hygiene outreach, and Community wellness initiatives.
Funding to the WUPHD went toward testing sites in Watersmeet and Ironwood. It also allowed us to follow-up on the 700 testes generated by this testing and do case investigation and contact racing of positive people in those areas.