UI Health Care receives $2 million donation to fund COVID-19 expenses

The donation will be used to meet UI Health Care’s most urgent needs, including COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and prevention expenses.


Katie Goodale

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as seen on Sept. 17, 2018.

Josie Fischels, Arts Editor

UI Health Care has received a donation of $2 million from the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation to help meet the enterprise’s critical current and future expenses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UI Center for Advancement shared in a news release Tuesday that the donation will be used to cover COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and prevention expenses, as well as to aid frontline health-care workers with child-care expenses, costs of housing and food, and the purchase of personal protective equipment.

The donation comes after UI Vice President for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson reported to the state Board of Regents April 1 that officials estimated the ultimate financial toll to be around $50 million for UI Hospitals and Clinics’ efforts to combat COVID-19

UIHC has prepared for a surge of patients testing positive for COVID-19 as the number of positive cases continues to rise in Iowa while the state approaches its peak. The Iowa Department of Public Health on Monday reported 1,710 positive cases. 

UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran, the vice president of UI Health Care, thanked the foundation in the release, adding that the donation will also help support ongoing research dedicated toward the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

“This is a tremendous gift, and, on behalf of the entire UI Hospitals & Clinics team, I extend our sincere thanks to the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation,” he said in the release.

The Richard O. Jacobson has provided gifts in the past to UIHC, including a $4.5 million donation to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital in February 2019 to help expand specialty pediatric services in Iowa. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds also thanked both the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation and UI Health Care staff in a video message shared with UI Health Care on April 13. 

“Our health-care professionals are fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and I want to thank the dedicated staff of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for their heroic and innovative work to combat COVID-19 across Iowa,” she stated in the message.

UI Health Care has established an emergency fund for additional donations on its website. According to the UI Center for Advancement, UIHC has received 442 donations so far, totaling $58,134 to fund efforts to combat COVID-19.