Philanthropist and entrepreneur Donald Sussman will match donations up to $1 million in support of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Emergency Response Fund.

To inspire support for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Emergency Response Fund, Donald Sussman — founder and chief investment officer of Paloma Partners, a Connecticut-based hedge fund — today announced a $1 million challenge, pledging to match donations dollar-for-dollar to provide much-needed resources for the hospital’s frontline efforts to combat COVID-19. The Emergency Response Fund was originally established in 2013 following the Boston Marathon bombings to support training and provide vital resources needed to advance emergency preparedness.

“There is an unprecedented need for philanthropy at this moment.”

One of only 10 Regional Ebola and other Special Pathogens Centers in the country, Mass General is widely recognized as a national leader in the fight against the novel coronavirus and other highly infectious diseases. In 2019, Mass General developed the Novel Coronavirus Toolkit, a comprehensive resource that has been adopted by medical centers throughout the United States and abroad to combat new viruses and widespread illnesses.

Supporting Areas of Greatest Need

As a philanthropist, Mr. Sussman is well-known for supporting educational, political and humanitarian causes. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Mr. Sussman donated his private plane to deliver medical supplies to people in need. That same year, he donated $12 million to Skidmore College to help provide student housing to underserved students. He is also a benefactor of the Weizman Institute of Science in Rehovat, Israel.

“From doctors and nurses on the frontlines to scientists working to develop test and therapies, there is an unprecedented need for philanthropy at this moment,” Mr. Sussman said. “By giving to the Mass General Emergency Response Fund, I am ensuring that my donation will support the areas of greatest need.”

Putting Dollars to Work, Now

The Emergency Response Fund will continue to help Mass General purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); develop timely, innovative solutions, including the 3-D printing of masks, create and staff a COVID-19 Hotline with interpreters to reach the broadest possible audience with up-to-date information; and enhance telemedicine capabilities to provide high-quality care while preventing possible exposure to the virus. Equally important, the Emergency Response Fund is helping to subsidize childcare costs for essential hospital employees.

Prior to the outbreak, Mass General developed and rigorously tested protocols and trained clinical staff to provide safe care to patients during public health crises.

“At Massachusetts General Hospital, dedicated teams of nurses, doctors, caregivers, researchers, facility managers, food service providers and thousands of other indispensable employees are working around the clock to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, Mass General President. “Donald Sussman’s generous gift will enable us to increase our capacity, expand vital research, and leverage the considerable resources and the expertise behind our hospital-wide efforts in ways that are real, measurable and long-lasting.”

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Prior to the outbreak and with support from the Emergency Response Fund, Mass General developed and rigorously tested protocols and trained clinical staff to provide safe care to patients during public health crises.  Together, physicians, nurses, infection control specialists, experts in emergency preparedness, and administrators developed a comprehensive, hospital-wide plan to respond to devastating events, like the fast-moving global spread of COVID-19. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Mass General was quick to launch in-house testing to meet the needs of patients and healthcare workers and continues to closely monitor the pandemic, its reach and impact. In addition, Mass General researchers and physicians are part of the Greater Boston Consortium for Pathogen Readiness whose efforts are solely focused on addressing COVID-19.

To learn more about the Emergency Response Fund and to donate, please visit giving.massgeneral.org/GivingTuesdayNow.