The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation donation helps Emory connect patients with families and assist clinicians during COVID-19

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | May 7, 2020

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Alysia Satchel
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Atlanta Falcons team owner, Arthur M. Blank, has donated 120 new Microsoft Surface tablets to Emory Healthcare to assist with video calls to family, friends and clergy for patients hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic. The devices will also be used in other clinical areas to reduce the number of people needed to enter a room while caring for a patient with COVID-19, thereby conserving personal protective equipment or PPE supplies.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation donated $140,000 worth of Microsoft Surface tablets to the health care system to assist frontline workers, patients and families during the crisis. The technology will be used in a variety of areas throughout Emory Healthcare, including oncology, radiology, medical and surgical floors, intensive care unit, clinical decision unit, labor and delivery and the neonatal intensive care unit.

Leaders at Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive health system in Georgia and the official health care provider of the Atlanta Falcons, hope the devices will reduce social isolation, exposure of COVID-19 and improve mental health.

"I want to thank Mr. Blank and his organization for the generous donation," says Scott D. Boden, MD, vice president for business innovation for Emory Healthcare.

"In this unprecedented time with social distancing and visitor restrictions, we have situations where families can’t communicate with very ill patients or patients near the end of life, and these tablets will have a huge impact for providers, patients and their families."

PPE supply remains at a critically low level during the coronavirus crisis. Health care workers are trying to find ways to preserve the items to protect patients and staff.

"Telemedicine, with devices in patient rooms, limits the number of times a nurse or doctor has to enter the room with PPE, thus conserving it, while still providing the patient the best care possible," says Gregory J. Esper, MD, MBA, associate chief medical officer, Emory Healthcare, and professor and vice chair of clinical affairs in the Department of Neurology at Emory.

President and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, Rich McKay says they’re always grateful to Mr. Blank and his foundation for heeding the call to help our community.

"This donation is so impactful not just to those frontline health care workers, but also for those patients trying to fight the virus," says McKay.

For more information about coronavirus, visit http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/covid.