The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) has opened a grant program to support the local groups and chapters that work with bleeding disorder families, and have watched as their revenue sources dry up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called the COVID-19 Fund Bridge Grant program, the effort is open to groups that are members of the Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA) or chapters of the NHF.
“The COVID-19 Bridge Fund Grant program allows chapters to continue supporting their members in a safe way, and we hope it will help sustain our chapters as we all work towards our ‘new normal,’” Leonard Valentino, MD, president and CEO of the NHF, said in a press release.
The grants, up to a maximum of $7,500, aim to help organizations maintain their programs and financial assistance to people with bleeding disorders during the pandemic.
Local bleeding disorders organizations depend on in-person events, such as educational gatherings, galas, and walks, to generate revenue to run programs directly supporting patients with hemophilia and other blood clotting diseases.
But with the pandemic, nearly all in-person events have either been canceled or switched to virtual platforms. This has cut deeply into the organizations’ annual income, which supports a variety of programs, and is a source of financial aid to a community that itself is facing employment and income loss.
“It’s imperative to NHF that local chapters and member organizations have the resources necessary to continue to address the acute needs of their members,” Valentino said.
Through grant program, Valentino added, the NHF intends to help members pay their rent, mortgage, utilities or food costs.
Part of the funds used to launch the program come from money initially allocated for staff travel, which was channeled to support the community.
Additional funds have been provided by Pfizer, Sanofi Genzyme, and Genentech. The Hemophilia Alliance will also match each grant up to $7,500, in addition to having provided $500,000 to chapters. This brings to a total $1.5 million available to support local chapters and member organizations.
“The board of the Hemophilia Alliance immediately say the opportunity to help operationally support chapters across the country,” said Joe Pugliese, president and CEO of the Hemophilia Alliance. “We felt it was important during this time that we step in directly to help.”
Added Valentino, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, NHF has relied on three core principles in guiding our response: First is to protect the health and safety of the bleeding disorders community; second is to help limit the spread and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus; and last but not least, to maintain excellence in all of the programs that our community depends upon.”
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