Published on July 20, 2020

The Friends of Reading Hospital Aid Hospital and Community Organizations With More Than $400,000 in 2020

West Reading, PA., July 20, 2020 - The Friends of Reading Hospital (The Friends) have provided $400,199 in grant funds to aid hospital departments and community organizations since January 1, 2020. The Friends have designated 2020, their 130th Anniversary, "The Year of Giving" with a focus on how the organization can support the patients, families and staff of Reading Hospital, as well as our local community organizations.

Along with their traditional giving, The Friends have developed a COVID-19 Emergency Grant initiative that addresses sent, Physical/Emotional Wellness, and Technology support that have developed due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 donations totaling $196,158 include support for:

• Reading Hospital Outpatient Therapy Community Wellness pilot program to provide virtual yoga and mindfulness classes that will be shared on BCTV and social media.
• Science Research Institute to host a virtual summer camp and, through The Friends grant program, to alleviate program fees for financially distressed and underserved students who wish to participate.
• Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading and Berks County offering free grab-and-go meals for youth in Western Berks county.
• Helping Harvest to fund increased food purchases and distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Hannah's Hope funds to help provide transportation to mothers and children as well as for COVID-19 relief.
• Berks EMS to purchase additional personal protective equipment (PPE).

Other recipients include Berks PPE Resource Network, SAFE Berks, John Paul II Center, "Berks History for Victory" Garden and Kickstarter Kits, Prospectus Berco, Day Springs, and the LGBT Center of Greater Reading.

Other grant recipients totaling $204,041 include support for:

• Tower Health Transplant Institute Patient Assistance Program to provide patients in financial need for basic living expenses such as utility bills, rent or mortgage payments, groceries, medications, and other necessities.
• Reading Hospital Patient Comfort Items including knit baby hats, reading glasses, prayer shawls, neck pillows, playing cards, eye masks, chemo caps, ice packs, and more.
• Berks Farm Bucks to help bridge the gap between access and affordability of fresh produce for community residents at Penn Street Market.
• BCTV to offer first aid and CPR training.
Reading Hospital Programs and Departments that received grants are Neurology, Stuffed Animal Therapy, Child Development Center, Children's Health Center, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Miller Regional Heart Center Heart Failure, Women's Health. Other community-based recipients include Hannah's Hope, Freedom and Restoration for Everyone Enslaved (FREE), and HeART of Music.

"The Friends are proud to be able to provide financial support to organizations within our community thanks to the thoughtful and generous contributions of our donors and sponsors," said Lucine Sihelnik, President, The Friends of Reading Hospital. "During these uncertain times it is imperative that we continue to provide access to these critical services to keep our family, friends, and neighbors safe and healthy."

In 2020 The Friends of Reading Hospital is celebrating its 130th anniversary as an association of dedicated community leaders focused on raising funds to support and enhance Reading Hospital's promise of Advancing Health. Transforming Lives. By funding health and wellness programs, grants, and initiatives, The Friends have made a powerful and sustainable impact on the hospital, patients, and surrounding community.

Leadership of The Friends of Reading Hospital are available for interviews upon request.

About Reading Hospital

Reading Hospital is the flagship, Magnet Recognized, acute care hospital of Tower Health. Located in West Reading, Pa., Reading Hospital is a 714-bed hospital that is home to many top-tier specialty care centers, including Reading HealthPlex, McGlinn Cancer Institute, Miller Regional Heart Center, Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center and Beginnings Maternity Center, which houses the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 1,000 physicians and providers across 49 locations, Reading Hospital has been recognized for its quality outcomes and clinical expertise across services lines. It is listed as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for four consecutive years and received a 5-Star Rating from CMS two years in a row. For more information, visit