Rotary International District 7475 is donating much-needed critical care equipment to Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ to help with the COVID 19 Pandemic. They have raised $34,000 to donate one Critical Care Bed to the ICU.

Overlook Medical Center is renovating two additional floors to become ICU units, and is looking for funding to help purchase the equipment. They have ordered 20 Critical Care Beds, model Hillrom Progressa Bed System. The beds can be upgraded in the future and cost $34,000 each.

Website http://www.hillrom.com The beds have technology to help patients breath including percussive and vibration therapies.The hospital does not like to transfer patients between beds, because it increases the risk of nonsocomial infections, which means getting an infection in the hospital. Therefore, these beds are designed to be used in other therapeutic modalities. They are designed to be mobile — you can wheel them down the hall to other departments.The useful life of one of these high tech beds is 12 to 15 years. Each bed could potentially save thousands of lives.

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The Rotary District 7475 consists of 82 Rotary Clubs representing 2000 Rotarians in nine counties of northern New Jersey. Rotary is a business networking and service club of successful business men and women who want to give back to their community. There are 1.2 millions Rotarians in 166 countries around the world. Most of the Rotarians in the District donate to the International Foundation, which circulates the funds back for use in our local communities. Past District Governor Dr. D. Michael Hart is the Foundation Chair for the District. He was able to write a grant proposal which was matched by The Rotary International Foundation totaling $34,000 to purchase one bed.

Rotary Global Grants require an international partner. District 7475 has done many Global Grants, typically 10 grants per year with many clubs and districts around the world. This is one of the first few grants done in the United States in the last 20 years. For this particular grant, the Rotary Club of Berwick, Victoria Australia is our international partner. Last year our New Jersey District raised $20,000 to help them with their wildfires which were out of control.

Dr. D. Michael Hart is quoted as saying “The rest of the world thinks Americans are rich and do not need any help. This program is a good example of how Rotary International can help people right here in a time of crisis.”

Dr. Hart recently wrote two other grants totaling $100,000 to purchase 10 ventilators for the Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ and The RWJ Barnabas Hospital in Somerset, NJ. Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas is the largest health system in New Jersey with 15 hospitals. Overlook is part of the Atlantic Health System with five hospitals. Hospital chains share equipment as needed, or divert patients to open hospital wards as needed, so these donations will help the two largest health systems in New Jersey.

Rotary International is one of the premier charitable institutions in the world. They have been rated 100% for 11 years in a row by Charity Navigator, an organization which rates charities. Since 1985, Rotary has been working to eradicate Polio worldwide. Rotary raises $50 million per year for the effort, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches Rotary's fundraising efforts at a rate of 2:1. In other words, Gates contributes $100 million per year.

Rotary works in conjunction with The World Health Organization which can deal with the political issues in each country; Rotarians are the “boots on the ground” actually vaccinating the children; and the CDC and UNICEF help with funding. Polio has no cure and no treatment, but it does have a vaccine. The virus only lives in humans, so once it is eradicated, it will be gone forever. It predominately strikes children under the age of 5 years old and causes paralysis. FDR had polio as a child and was paralyzed for life. He started a charity to fight this disease in 1938. After his death, in 1946, his likeness was put on a dime and the slogan and name “The March of Dimes” was started for the fight against polio. Rotary has eradicated 99.9% of the cases in the entire world since 1985. There were 94 new cases of polio in 2019, mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only one other disease has been completely eradicated worldwide which is smallpox.

Rotary International website is http://www.roatry.org.  District 7475 website is http://www.njroatry.org

Pictured: Rotary International District 7475 Foundation Committee Chairs, left to right: front row: Governor Ray Freaney; Foundation Chair PDG Dr. D. Michael Hart; Major Gifts Chair PDG John Wilson. Back row: Group Study Exchange Chair PDG Tulsi Maharjan; District Foundation Treasurer Michael Townley; District Grants Chair Sharan Jain; Polio Chair PDG Dr. Julie Ann Juliano; Japan Exchange Chair PDG Jim Allison; District Secretary Cheryl Delgado; International Service Chair PDG Frank Geraghty; Paul Harris Society Chair Sam Maddali; Stewardship Chair Joe Steiner. Missing: Annual Giving Chair Cookie Pocchia; Fundraising Chair PDG Elly Ezra; Scholarship Chair Pia Reich; District Governor Elect Ann Walko; District Governor Nominee Shelby Rhodes; District Governor Nominee Designate John Shockley.