Dear donation partners and advocates

As you  are  aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local  governments and health agencies are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Gift of Hope works with the 180 Illinois and Northwest Indiana donor hospitals and local and national transplant centers and tissue partners to save lives. The organization’s priority is to keep our employees, partners, the community and the donor population we serve safe and healthy as we continue to pursue our mission. To that end Gift of Hope is staying informed of and following all COVID-19 updates from the CDC and is implementing the necessary guidelines and precautions to help minimize the spread of the virus.

The following guidelines went into effect March 13, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice:

  • Meetings & Events at Gift of Hope: All large gatherings, employee events and celebrations will be postponed or cancelled. Until further notice, meetings will be conducted electronically to avoid all in-person meetings as much as possible. All in-person meetings should be limited to 10 individuals and must be held in a space that allows social distancing.
  • Working from Home: Gift of Hope managers will arrange for staff to work at home where job responsibilities allow.
  • Travel: Work-related travel is suspended unless related to clinical case or referral management. We are asking that all employees disclose non-work-related travel with leadership. Depending on the destination and potential exposure, employees may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The risk will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Supplies: Gift of Hope leadership is working to ensure we continue to have access to key supplies.

In the event of Employee Exposure

  • Self-Quarantine: Employees MUST self-quarantine (stay at home) for 14 days if: (1) they have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath; (2) an individual in their household has tested positive for COVID-19; or (3) any health care provider has advised them to self-quarantine. Exposed staff members MUST contact their supervisor or manger immediately.
  • Employee Exposure: If a Gift of Hope employee is exposed, we will take the necessary precautions to keep our entire staff, our community and our donors free from exposure. Gift of Hope will follow CDC Guidance to identify individuals who have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Exposed employee MUST contact their manager immediately if they suspect they have been exposed.

Access to Hospital Facilities:

  • It is critical that we come together as a healthcare community to protect our employees and patients.
  • Gift of Hope staff members must have their Gift of Hope identification readily available to obtain access to appropriate hospital areas. If you have questions regarding providing access to Gift of Hope employees facility, please contact Maureen Kwiecinski, Gift of Hope VP, External Affairs & General Counsel at (414) 460-6801.
  • Gift of Hope front-line staff and clinicians will limit hospital interactions to referral management and clinical case management only.
  • Gift of Hope will care for potential donors and continue facilitating the opportunity to save lives through organ and tissue donation.
  • Gift of Hope employees will not attempt to access hospital facilities for non-clinical purposes. Clinical purposes include referral and case management. All non-clinical hospital employee education, donor registration events, media events or ceremonies and activities related to the celebration of National Donate Life Month should be postponed.

Donor Testing and Procedures

  • Gift of Hope will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate testing opportunities that present themselves for screening donors for COVID-19.