< View Recent News

2020 A Year Like No Other

December 30, 2020

Without question, 2020 has been the most challenging year for our community, state, and nation. 

Yet at Hamot Health Foundation, our team has remained steadfast in staying ahead of the curve.


Face Shields 1

Within days of COVID-19 hitting our community, Hamot Health Foundation received a request from UPMC Hamot’s leadership for funds that could be readily accessed in case of an immediate need for the hospital. The HHF board held an emergency meeting and committed up to $900,000 to ensure the safety of UPMC Hamot patients, employees, and fellow community members.

Through the leadership of our board, we delivered thousands of masks, gallons of hand sanitizer, and boxes of gloves, protective face shields, and COVID-19 educational materials. We also provided thousands of meals to our hospital and community. 

As our nation was challenged with civil unrest, our Foundation committed to being part of the solution. Working very closely with board member Bishop Dwayne Brock, we regularly met with the United Clergy of Erie to understand and support those segments of our community where inequities existed.

These efforts included four canvassing events during which our team at HHF — along with leadership at UPMC Hamot, the city of Erie police and fire departments, our associates at Gannon University, and our Count Me In team — knocked on doors in Erie’s underserved neighborhoods to discuss unity and togetherness, and to reinforce a message of inclusiveness.

We have also been part of a collaborative effort with all of the health providers in Erie County to work with MCIC in serving local community centers with COVID-19 testing, resources, and supplies.


Wayne School Project - School of Nursing

Boo Hagerty, President, Hamot Health Foundation, announces future developments at Wayne School

Wayne School Project

We continued to deliver on our promise of eight years ago to tackle the social determinants of health care in our community.

Together with our partners at Erie Center for Arts and Technology, Primary Health Network, and United Way of Erie County, HHF led the way breaking ground on the Wayne School project. In the late spring of 2021, we will cut the ribbon on this $11.5 million project and transform a neighborhood in desperate need of investment, hope, and opportunity.


Jameson Rendering

UPMC Jameson School of Nursing at UPMC Hamot

HHF was instrumental in working with UPMC and UPMC Hamot leaders to announce the opening of the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing at UPMC Hamot. 

In partnership with Gannon University, this new school, the last tenant at Wayne, will open its doors to 56 new students, the first class to experience this unique model of training aimed at producing the best and brightest future nurses for our community. Special thanks go to the UPMC Hamot Aid Society and the Hamot Health Foundation Board of Corporators who served as major partners in this vital program and will help us welcome our first class in August of 2021. 


Momi Stock Photo

MWRI of Erie

With the help of a major investment from The Erie Community Foundation, along with the ongoing support of our major partner, Penn State Behrend, MWRI of Erie continued to make substantial progress in 2020. New leaders of MWRI of Erie were hired during the year, and they have subsequently begun to secure new faculty and staff. MWRI of Erie is introducing new research projects and studies on the campuses of PSB and UPMC Hamot, building out the nearly 8000 square feet of new research space available on both campuses. All this is happening ahead of our official opening scheduled in May 2021.


Mother holding baby with its thumb in its mouth.

Women’s Recovery Program

Other major HHF projects in 2020 included securing over $2.3 million in grants to take our Women’s Recovery Program to new heights. The program will reach out to multiple counties to assist women with substance use disorder, helping to get them into recovery and return to functional, productive lives for themselves and their families. 


Patient Care Tower Rendering

UPMC Hamot Patient Tower

We also continued our fundraising efforts to support the opening of the UPMC Hamot patient care tower in the first quarter of 2021. A $111 million facility, the tower will provide nearly 1 million individuals with medical technologies and care otherwise unavailable within a 100-mile radius of Erie. In 2020, more than 40 donors dedicated spaces in the tower to honor loved ones and show support for this landmark construction project.


Hhf Staff Outside

My pride in our extraordinary team at HHF continues to grow.

Jaimee, Michelle, Emily, Katie, and Nick worked tirelessly to achieve our goals, and although Elaine Gibson’s retirement was bittersweet, we are happy to welcome Mark Louis as our new development officer. Over the past year, plans kept changing, events took on a different cast, and Zoom meetings became our salvation. As 2020 comes to an end, two things are evident: this team is amazing, and 2021 will prove to be another great year. We’re just getting started!


Elaine With Has Members Crop

Amazing community partners.

These are only the highlights. There was so much more. But we could not do what we do without amazing community partners.

In the end, we must go over the top to thank our board of directors for their wisdom and guidance ... our beloved UPMC Hamot Aid Society for their incredible devotion to HHF and UPMC Hamot … David Gibbons and his leadership team at UPMC Hamot for their continued support and partnership … and most of all YOU — our donors and funders who continue to put faith in all of us to be excellent stewards of YOUR kindness and generosity.


The mission of Hamot Health Foundation is to provide opportunities to advance health care initiatives by aligning our donors with the critical needs of UPMC Hamot and our community.

If our mission speaks to you, please consider an end-of-year donation to Hamot Health Foundation. We promise to put your gift to hard work through creative and careful means. We know you expect results. And you should. Thank you for your support, trust, and generosity.