News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

St. Charles launches ‘Hero Fund’

In recognition of the sacrifices of those on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients in Central Oregon, St. Charles is launching a new fund through St. Charles Foundation to provide bonus pay to eligible employees.

The St. Charles Hero Fund will provide bonus pay to caregivers who work on the front lines for the month of April to honor the risks they are taking and show our appreciation. To be eligible, caregivers must work in direct patient care or on-site at a clinical location at least 80 hours in April. The hero bonuses will be paid on May 15.

“St. Charles caregivers in our hospitals, clinics, home health and patient support areas come to work every day knowing that even with taking appropriate precautions they could contract this serious virus,” Sluka said. “They provide essential care, while having to worry about potentially bringing home COVID-19 to their families. I am in awe of their heroism and honor the sacrifices they are making to care for others during this crisis.”

St. Charles is facing a daunting economic environment because of COVID-19. St. Charles has committed $1 million to the Hero Fund and is asking the community to match efforts in support of the caregivers.

“We have seen an incredible outpouring of support through donations of masks, food and other items for our teams,” said Lisa Dobey, executive director of community and philanthropy for St. Charles. “This is another opportunity for the Central Oregon community to show its love to our caregivers on the front lines of this fight.”

Future hero bonuses for St. Charles caregivers will be determined based on the success of community donations to the fund. To kick off the fund and inspire others to contribute, St. Charles President and CEO Joe Sluka is donating 50 percent of his paycheck during this timeframe to support caregivers.

“Caring for our people throughout this pandemic is critical so we can ensure they will be able to care for others,” Sluka said. “If possible, and with generous community support, we hope to extend the Hero Fund beyond April.”

For more information on how to donate, visit or call 541-706-6996.


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