Chicago, Ill.—April 9, 2020—CommonSpirit Health, whose 150,000 employees serve patients across 21 states, is providing its caregivers safe and convenient access to essential grocery items by turning its hospital cafes into grocery stores. Starting with repurposed cafes in hospitals in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, CommonSpirit has opened grocery stores for physicians and staff to buy staple foods and other essential items that are in short supply at retail stores.
“CommonSpirit’s front line physicians and staff are going above and beyond to care for our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to support them in every way possible,” said Dr. Deisell Martinez, leader for food and nutrition services for CommonSpirit Health. “Our caregivers and their families are making great sacrifices right now. We are humbled by their heroism and courage and want to make it easier and more comfortable for them to meet some of their needs outside of work.”
In a matter of days, CommonSpirit set up a supply chain to procure dozens of hard-to-find food items and household goods for these grocery stores, such as milk, eggs, bread, cereal, pasta, proteins, frozen foods, disinfectant wipes, and even toilet paper. Each hospital can order customized items based on their local needs. The stores are open during normal cafe hours, which includes the times of shift changes so people can shop right before they go home. In addition to saving time, the on-site grocery stores enable CommonSpirit’s physicians and staff to avoid going to supermarkets or other public locations during a time when limiting public exposure is advised.
“Our staff are working more than 12 hours every day and the grocery store allows them to feel their work is valued in a way that goes above and beyond what I can say on the floor as their manager,” said Zoe Coleman, clinical nurse manager, nursery ICU at CommonSpirit Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Center. “When the store first opened, many staff had tears in their eyes from gratefulness. At the end of the day, our staff can comfortably shop for essential items and have more time to spend with their loved ones. We feel so lucky to have this form of support, which helps us take care of our families while we work long shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
CommonSpirit plans to continue to open the grocery stores at hospitals in its other communities across the U.S.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 137 hospitals and more than 1000 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2019, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of nearly $29 billion and provided $4.45 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs.
Learn more at commonspirit.org.