Eugene, Ore., May 11, 2020
- The Eugene Family YMCA is tremendously grateful for a $50,000 gift from PeaceHealth to support its efforts to continue to build a strong community during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have shown inspiring resolve, compassion and care in the face of the spread of COVID-19," said Brian Steffen, CEO of the Eugene Family YMCA. "PeaceHealth and the Y share common missions to keep Lane County's citizens healthy and thriving. Our two organizations have consistently collaborated in ways to address health needs in Lane County, which allowed us to immediately align our work to tackle the challenges associated with the current pandemic. This magnanimous gift is a confirmation that continued work to help families and individuals during this time remains of utmost importance."
Since the Eugene Family YMCA closed its doors in the face of the coronavirus, it has pivoted its work toward virtual health and wellness, outreach to members to prevent isolation and depression, and free emergency child care for first responders, medical professionals and essential workers.
PeaceHealth has been closely involved in collaboration with the Y to address the need for emergency child care for its own essential workers. PeaceHealth's early commitment to the Y's work ensured that the child care programs were available to families at no cost from the beginning.
"PeaceHealth employees are on the frontline of the response to coronavirus in Lane County," said Mary Kingston, Chief Executive, PeaceHealth Oregon Network. "The health and safety of our staff is of the highest priority, especially as they step up to protect our community. Our dynamic partnership with the Eugene Family YMCA meant that we could offer our employees help with one of their most pressing needs: the care of their children. This ensures that they can have the peace of mind knowing that their very own are in good hands while answering the call to serve on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic."
The Y, in collaboration with the City of Eugene, Eugene School District 4J, Bethel School District, the Springfield School District, South Lane School District and other partners, quickly mobilized care for emergency and essential workers' families.
"We determined quickly to not allow these workers to struggle with child care," said Steffen. "This generous gift from PeaceHealth and other emergency funding allows us to continue to provide this free all-day enrichment."
PeaceHealth employees have had to migrate to virtual work and appropriate social distancing measures--- even as they care for patients.
"Changing our model of care and social distancing on a dime is an enormous transition--- one that has brought us leaps farther in telemedicine and telehealth in a remarkably short period of time," said Chelsea Holland-Bak, Manager of Oregon Cardiology and PeaceHealth Medical Group Cardiothoracic Surgery. "But it is incredibly stressful work. I am so grateful to work for an organization that puts people first and is doing so much to support our caregivers."
Holland-Bak has two children in the Y's emergency child care program.
The YMCA has done an amazing job," she says. "It is massively helpful that my kids come home tired and having completed their school work during the day. I can visit with them, make dinner and connect instead of nagging about school work."
PeaceHealth's gift is made through its Community Benefit Award funding.
About the Eugene Family YMCA
The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year across Lane County, the Y engages more than 18,000 people regardless of age, gender, income or background--- to nurture the potential of children, teens and seniors; improve health and well-being; and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2019, the Eugene Family YMCA awarded $464,675 in financial assistance. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.
PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at