The National Press Club in northwest D.C. served as the venue for a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 24, during which a team of stakeholders helped launch an innovative program that will assist medical workers who continue to lead the way in the fight against COVID-19.

“Help the Heroes” was designed to help front-line medical workers at Howard University Hospital receive timely and convenient food assistance at the end of their shift.

Streamed live on various platforms, speakers included Anita L.A. Jenkins, CEO, Howard University Hospital; Michael Freedman, president, National Press Club; and Ed Lewis, director of Public Policy Communications at Toyota.

“This program is designed to help support the most valuable and vulnerable resource in the Hospital – its staff,” Freedman said. “The National Press Club sought to establish a program that could provide real and tangible support to the heroes who are fighting COVID-19 in a historic hospital in our community. We are honored to help support Howard University Hospital.”

“The National Press Club continues to play a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19 by supporting frontline healthcare workers through great initiatives like their Help the Heroes program,” Jenkins said. “The fight to defeat COVID-19 is a community-wide effort and your ongoing donations in the form of nutritious meals have positively impacted our staff members who have to contend with this virus on a daily basis. On behalf of the Howard University Hospital community, I want to thank the National Press Club and its many sponsors for your gratitude and continued support of this program.”

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, hospitals continue to prepare for a nightmare scenario later this fall when flu patients and COVID-19 patients may swamp hospital wards. There is appropriate concern that this will exhaust the staff.

“I worry the most about the ability of the workforce to step into the ring again. Adrenaline can only take you so far,” said Dr. Brandan Carr of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Help the Heroes is funded by donations from corporations, foundations and nonprofits. Prior to the formal launch, the club had already raised money from members and clients, some of whom spoke during the news conference.

Donations for Help the Heroes go to the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s affiliated 501c-3 and can be made online via credit card at http://www.press.org/hth.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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