Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation announced Friday that the foundation has given a grant of $1 million to the Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH) for equipment and to provide services to residents in the department’s fight against COVID-19.
The grant will be used to purchase items on Gov. Bryan’s list of needed supplies, including rapid testing kits, N95 masks, personal protective equipment, respirators and laser infrared thermometers. Funds also will be used to provide stress counseling and mental health services to residents dealing with the impact of the coronavirus on the territory.
“This incredibly generous gift helps us at a most crucial time in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. Our community spread is just starting, and these supplies are desperately needed for mitigation and response. The DOH needs to have the ability to act now,” Bryan said. “The Anderson family has been a strong supporter of the U.S.V.I., and its commitment to making our community better has been unwavering, and this is another in a long list of instances in which the Anderson family has stepped up to support these islands.”
William S. Anderson, Topa’s executive chairman, said the grant is to support the healthcare personnel who are on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus.
“On behalf of our family, I want to convey to the Virgin Islands community that our thoughts are with them in this time of global crisis,” Anderson said. “We have been operating in the Virgin Islands for nearly 40 years, and we feel strongly about giving back to this community and to doing what we can to help in the efforts being made by the doctors, nurses, paramedics and all those who are on the front lines in the fight against this virus.”
The $1 million donation will be facilitated through the Virgin Islands Partners for Healthy Communities, a domestic 501(c)3 corporation, and it will be disbursed through the Department of Health.
The essential items that will be purchased with the grant funding will be distributed to the following agencies and community partners:
- Virgin Islands Department of Health & Health Care Organizations
- Juan F. Luis Hospital
- Roy Lester Schneider Hospital
- Territorial Community District Distribution Campaigns
- Virgins Islands Department of Education
- Virgin Islands Police Department
- Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections
- Virgin Islands National Guard
- Virgin Islands Department of Justice
- Community Partners to include (Ten Thousand Helpers, Women’s Coalition, The Village)
“We are pleased to be able to step in at such a critical time to assist the governor and the Department of Health so Virgin Islanders can be assured their medical professionals and first responders have the resources needed during this pandemic,” said Judy Munzig, chairwoman of the Anderson Stewart Foundation.
Richard Berry, president of Topa Equities VI, said making the grant to the Government of the Virgin Islands was the right and natural thing to do.
“As we are still rebuilding from hurricanes Irma and Maria, it is especially important to us to provide funds to help improve our health services during these perilous times,” Berry said. “Having been born and raised in the Virgin Islands, I am proud to work for a company so committed to putting people first, both its employees and the people of the Virgin Islands.”
The Anderson Stewart Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization through which the Anderson Family supports educational, healthcare and other community-based organizations, including The University of California, Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and many other organizations. Anderson grants in the U.S.V.I. have supported teachers and their students for two decades. In 2018, the foundation donated $5 million to various non-profit organizations in the territory in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes.
For more information about the donation, contact Richard Berry at 774-2350 or 690-2909 or by email to [email protected].