As I think about the past six months, I am reminded of a song from the musical Hamilton entitled, “The World Turned Upside Down.” At the beginning of 2020, Penn Foundation was already fighting a substance use pandemic that was killing approximately 70,000 Americans a year. Little did we know that, in a matter of weeks, we would face a second pandemic – COVID-19 – that would challenge every aspect of our organization’s stability.
As we began to more fully understand the implications of these pandemics in February, we focused our efforts and attention on three priorities:
1. Ensuring the continuation of services for our most vulnerable clients
2. Attending to matters of safety with the goal of keeping our clients and staff safe
3. Amidst economic uncertainty, working to maintain the employment of as many of our workforce as possible knowing that all PF jobs would be critical to our future of providing needed services
As a provider of “essential services,” Penn Foundation never closed its doors. Rather, with these three goals in mind, we rapidly moved ahead with plans to modify programs. As CEO, it was a profoundly humbling experience to see the dedication, fearlessness, and commitment of an extraordinary Penn Foundation staff who met the moment. I remain grateful to these health care heroes who made sure that clinical needs were met and that people who were food insecure were fed and who offered caring and compassion in response to isolation and loneliness.
None of this would have been possible without the support of you, our caring community. From monetary donations to support of a rapidly-established food pantry to the crafting of handmade personal protective equipment, you were there for us when we needed you. THANK YOU! As we look forward to October 20, 2020, the 65th anniversary of Dr. Norman Loux, our founding Medical Director, seeing Penn Foundation’s first client in Souderton, we are really celebrating our community partnership, a partnership that has been described as a “Model for the Country” and which inspired national behavioral health legislation that still stands today.
As we consider the uncertainty of the upcoming months, we are confident that, with your support, we will continue to respond to the mental health and addiction needs of this community while evolving our services based on all that we have learned throughout both pandemics.
We pledge to think creatively about the services we provide, remain pioneers in our approaches to innovation, and seek the support and partnership of strategic partners with whom we can advance our mission. We pledge to use ever-improving science and technology to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of our services and to put a renewed focus on your needs and expectations.
Together, we can ensure our ability to deliver quality behavioral health services for another 65 years and beyond.
Thank you for everything!
Wayne A. Mugrauer
President and CEO