Dräger announced it has donated $10,000 to the American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) COVID-19 RT Fund, which provides financial assistance to surviving families of respiratory therapists who died while caring for patients with COVID-19.
As of August 18, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 136,697 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers, of which 632 died as a result of caring for patients with COVID-19. As Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, AARC Executive Director/CEO explains, RTs are represented in those numbers.
“All respiratory therapists are heroes,” said Kallstrom. “In this pandemic they selflessly serve, caring for others in their most desperate time of need. We are thankful to Dräger for financial support toward our COVID-19 RT Fund, through which we honor those who died while caring for our patients.”
Through its COVID-19 RT Fund, the AARC grants $500 to the family of each licensed RT who contracted COVID-19 while working and then died from complications of the disease. The association also donates two commemorative blocks in the AARC Virtual Museum, one for the RT’s family and one for the RT’s employer.
“We commend the AARC for initiating this important program, which offers support to the RT profession and those families who have suffered tremendous losses,” said President and CEO for Dräger in North America, Lothar Thielen. “We are proud to donate financial resources to keep this program fully funded and operational given the breadth of the pandemic and its impact on the RT community.”