Keeping Donors Connected During COVID

Keeping Donors Connected During COVID

Scripps Health Foundation’s virtual events help donors stay educated and engaged

A woman sitting at her desk participates in a videoconference with other people, representing the virtual donor events held by Scripps Health Foundation.

During the pandemic, in-person donor events across the Scripps system have been paused out of an abundance of caution. Scripps Health Foundation used this as an opportunity to launch a series of interactive virtual events to keep donors connected and informed about the impact their philanthropic gifts are having at Scripps — while also keeping their health and safety top priority.

Among the innovative virtual initiatives is 19 Minutes, a virtual health series designed to provide valuable information related to COVID-19, other current health topics and the latest happenings at Scripps. Donors are treated to brief, but detailed presentations by Scripps’ expert physicians and given the chance to ask questions afterward.

“There’s so much misinformation about COVID-19 out there. Having a source of truth, listening to someone interesting and having the ability to interact is even more important now,” says 19 Minutes moderator Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA, Scripps chief medical officer, acute care, clinical excellence and experience.

“There’s so much misinformation about COVID-19 out there. Having a source of truth, listening to someone interesting and having the ability to interact is even more important now.” — Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA

Reliable information, in real-time

The response from donors has been overwhelmingly positive. Denise Stillinger, who along with her husband, David, attended a session focused on boosting your immunity during the pandemic, says the event was done well and provided more insight into the effects of the coronavirus.

“It was very convenient to be able to sit at our desk and within 20 minutes get an informative talk that’s personalized,” she recalls. “The real-time virtual aspect was nice, because the facilitator and the presenter could talk back and forth, and it seemed more as if we were there in person.”

Other virtual events for donors include Scripps Cancer Center special presentations. With recent topics such as the benefits of multidisciplinary care in detecting and treating breast cancer, and Breakfast with Buchholz — where community members received updates from medical director Thomas Buchholz, MD — there have been many opportunities to stay connected.

Feeling well-cared for and well-informed

Han Helders says his own experience with the exemplary multidisciplinary cancer care at Scripps prompted him to pay it forward. He attended his first virtual meetup this summer with Dr. Buchholz.

“There’s a lot of benefit in participating and learning about an organization like Scripps,” he says, though he admits missing the camaraderie that comes with mingling in person. “The virtual events are a good substitute. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be able to communicate other than in an email or a video, which is not the same.”

In addition to helping Scripps save lives and advance medicine, your philanthropic support comes with exclusive access to these types of events and more.

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.

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