COLUMBIA, MD, February 17, 2021 –The Verstandig Family Foundation – a philanthropic organization established by digital innovator, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Grant Verstandig, with a focus on increasing public access to quality healthcare – today announced a $250,000 philanthropic contribution to MedStar Health, in support of ongoing COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts in underserved communities in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area.
The Verstandig Family Foundation giftwill be used to support MedStar Health’s innovative Mobile Health Center, which is currently traveling to underserved communities to raise awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine and administer the vaccine onsite. Led by a registered nurse practitioner, the mobile clinic brings quality health care directly to those in need and is currently serving vaccine eligible seniors living in community housing.
“The Foundation is thrilled to support MedStar Health’s important work to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to the underserved communities in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area,” said Grant Verstandig. “All too often, those with the most urgent health care needs confront significant obstacles, from work to child care to transportation. MedStar Health’s Mobile Health Center is a resource at the right time and place, addressing hardships upfront and bringing quality health care to those in need. This important work aligns with our Family Foundation’s mission to make quality healthcare accessible to all.”
“MedStar Health is grateful to receive philanthropic support from Grant Verstandig and the Verstandig Family Foundation as we partner to ensure COVID-19 vaccinations are quickly distributed to some of the region’s highest risk residents,” said Ken Samet, president and chief executive officer of MedStar Health. “Philanthropy partners like Grant Verstandig are making a significant impact on our ability to enhance the great work already happening in this effort through our community health programs. We are humbled by this support and generosity.”
The initiative is being coordinated through the Community Health Program at MedStar Health. In addition to supporting the mobile unit, the gift contributes to enhancing educational awareness to improve vaccine confidence among minority populations; the distribution of “COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in a Box” sends clinical teams to low-income, senior housing facilities, as well as safety-net clinics; and the implementation of vaccine distribution activities in collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department and DC Health, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
MedStar Health is the first medical provider in the region to deploy a mobile clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations, completing its first round of vaccinations at the Cherry Hill Senior Manor in Baltimore in late January. The 65 residents of the center will receive their second dose when the MedStar Health Mobile Health Center returns on February 26.
“It is an amazing feeling to bring the COVID-19 vaccine directly to patients,” said nurse practitioner, Kelli McCallum, CRNP, who leads the mobile care team. “Many of these seniors are already dealing with health issues and are challenged by transportation barriers to get to a vaccine center. Being able to be here and speak with them one on one, where they are most comfortable, also offers a comfort zone. If they have questions about vaccine safety, we can answer them. We are so proud of the trust we have been able to build through our Mobile Health Center. This extremely generous gift from the Verstandig Family Foundation will allow us to reach even more of our most vulnerable communities.”
With this philanthropic contribution, the Verstandig Family Foundation builds on a long-term commitment to the greater Baltimore-Washington community. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation donated $1.3 million to the BSTRONG program to fund the procurement and delivery of personal protective equipment to more than 200 hospitals, clinics, and facilities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.,
Verstandig advises multiple government organizations, including serving as a senior advisor to the National Security Agency on advanced analytics, technology, and Artificial Intelligence. Verstandig is also a member of the National Council for the American Enterprise Institute and is a founding member and Director of the Greater Washington Partnership.
In addition to healthcare, the Verstandig Family Foundation also supports various initiatives in education, national security, and entrepreneurship. The Foundation is anchored in the philosophy of the Power of Purpose for giving and leveraging new ideas in philanthropy.
About the Verstandig Family Foundation
Launched in 2017, the Verstandig Family Foundation embraces partnerships with a mission to engage thought leaders, drive policy outcomes and build substantial programs in education, entrepreneurship, national security, health and wellness, and animal rescue.
About MedStar Health
At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person, and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.