The donation will help AU Health address the demands of the pandemic in the Augusta region, including being one of the few health systems in the nation to offer saliva testing for COVID-19. The donation also helps ensure AU Health’s frontline workers have adequate levels of increasingly scarce PPE and testing materials.
“Our sincere thanks go to the leadership of Atlanta Gas Light and its Foundation in supporting our work to expand testing and provide complex patient care as we continue to battle COVID-19,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD. “Augusta University is proud to uphold our responsibility to the citizens of Georgia as the state’s only public academic medical center, and the support of our community is critical as we fight to save lives and prevent the spread of coronavirus.”
The Atlanta Gas Light Foundation, a subsidiary of the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation, is committed to supporting those who are transforming lives by tackling the complex challenges facing the communities it serves. The donation is part of an initial $2.5 million commitment from the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation, Southern Company Gas and its subsidiaries to support COVID-19 relief efforts in communities across its operations footprint, including Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia. To date, the commitments have increased to more than $3 million.
“As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic extends into the winter months, it is critical that we do all we can to ensure frontline efforts can continue,” said Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light. “AU Health’s work has positively impacted the health and wellbeing of the Augusta community, and we are committed to helping sustain its efforts.”
Since March, when Augusta University began its COVID-19 response efforts, over 70,000 hotline calls have been answered, more than 20,000 telemedicine screenings were completed through the AU Health ExpressCare app and over 95,000 specimen collections were taken at drive-thru locations around the state.