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Rotary Clubs Assist Axis Community Health’s COVID-19 Response

Representatives of the Rotary Club of Livermore and Pleasanton North Rotary presented an oversized check for $76,752 to Axis Community Health July 23, reflecting more than a year of financial support for the non-profit clinic’s aggressive local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Axis Community Health’s CEO Sue Compton, RN, MHS, and Valerie Jonas, its chief development officer, accepted the check on behalf of their Axis primary care clinics in Pleasanton and Livermore.

Equipment funded by the grant enabled Axis to make a rapid transition from live doctor-patient visits to telemedicine mechanisms for more than 90 percent of its medical appointments and about 500 mental health visits weekly, Compton noted. The grant also helped pay for in-home, blood pressure monitors for vulnerable hypertensive patients so the Axis care team could monitor their conditions while patients remained safely at home.

Compton anticipates telemedicine will remain a prominent part of the Axis’s service delivery model after the current crisis ends. It has reduced the risk of COVID-19 infections at its facilities and offers medical providers and patients a more convenient way to deliver and receive health care and mental health services for many conditions, she said.

For Rotary, swift actions at the international, district and area levels made emergency financial support possible, according to Pat Coyle, a Rotary Club of Livermore member and District 5170 Global Grant Committee Chair. The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of the 1.2 million member Rotary International service organization, modified requirements for preparing COVID-19 response global grants and expedited their approvals to sometimes cut months from the process.

Global grants in the U.S. normally require significant funding from a partner Rotary club in a foreign country. Leaders of District 5170 Area 4, which includes Livermore and Pleasanton, and members of the district’s Global Grant Committee realized that The Rotary Foundation had temporarily waived this requirement for COVID-19 response grants in the U.S. “As a result, we pivoted and redirected virtually all of our funding to a COVID-19 global grant that enabled community health care centers in our Area 4 to respond to the emergency more effectively and fight the pandemic close to home,” Coyle said.

Since March 2020, Area 4 Rotary clubs have awarded COVID-19 response grants for $96,850 to Axis, Asian Health Services, Oakland, and Eden Medical Center, Castro Valley. Global grant funding included $5000 each from the Rotarian Foundation of Livermore and the Pleasanton North Foundation, in addition to allocations from the Rotary Clubs of Castro Valley, Dublin, Livermore, Livermore Valley, Pleasanton, Pleasanton North, and the Tri-Valley Evening.

Leaders of the Rotary Club of Livermore and Pleasanton North Rotary (PNR) presented an oversized check for $76,752 to support Axis Community Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From left, Jeff Youngsma, Rotary Club of Livermore; Pat Coyle, Rotary Club of Livermore; Tami Hennegan, Rotary Area 4 assistant governor; Michael Cherman, president, PNR; Carolyn Siegfried, past president, Rotary Club of Livermore; Dave Pitcher, past president, PNR; Sue Compton, CEO, Axis Community Health; Valerie Jonas, chief development officer, Axis Community Health. (Photo: Jim Brice)

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