A donation of 2,000 digital thermometers delivered by the Franciscan Health Foundation to the Michigan City Area Schools will help families monitor students for COVID-19 symptoms as a new school year begins.
Franciscan Health Foundation Board Member Kelly Shikany spearheaded the project to raise funds in the community to purchase the thermometers, which were delivered at the MCAS plant planning building. School officials will distribute thermometers to families of students receiving free and reduced-cost lunch. Michigan City’s school year will begin virtually with plans for in-person instruction after fall break.
In addition to a donation from Sweney Electric Co. in Merrillville and private donors, the Duneland Health Council contributed a $4,950 grant to the project through the Franciscan Health Foundation’s Community Health and Wellness Fund.
"We are very grateful to the Franciscan Health Foundation for this donation. Especially during this time, it's important that families begin making temperature checks part of their morning routine,” said Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, superintendent of Michigan City Area Schools. “By screening for symptoms of COVID, flu, and other health issues at home, families can help us keep all students healthy, safe and ready to learn."
The thermometer project was the idea of Franciscan Health Michigan City President and CEO Dean Mazzoni, who said, “This is a great service for families with children trying to eventually get them safely back to school.”
In addition to the Franciscan Health Foundation’s Community Health and Wellness Fund, the Preparedness & Response Fund is currently accepting donations to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Donations to the fund have enabled the healthcare system to purchase oxygen flow devices to assist with breathing and recovery in COVID-positive patients, infrared thermometers for temperature checks of employees and visitors and sanitizing stations to clean equipment. Donations can be made to the Preparedness & Response Fund at FranciscanHealthFoundation.org/COVID-19.