Helping Patients Connect with Loved Ones

August 26, 2020 // South Dakota Fund Grants

Beginning in March, the South Dakota Community Foundation established the Coronavirus Response Fund and re-prioritized their grantmaking processes. One of the beneficiaries of this new focus was Monument Health which is headquartered in Rapid City. Monument Health, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, initiated a project that began as a means to help COVID-19 patients connect with loved ones when no visitors were allowed at the health care facility and morphed into a means of deploying more than 300 iPads across the Monument Health System. Community hospitals located in Custer, Lead/Deadwood, Spearfish, Sturgis and Rapid City will benefit from having these devices.

Fueled by the generous donation from Lowe’s in Rapid City of five iPads to Monument Health to support patients in their community, the Monument Health Foundation was awarded with a $20,000 grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation to purchase iPads and wall mounts, so they can be secure and compliant in patient rooms.

“When we consider the Foundation’s purpose and how our funds are distributed, efforts that will help caregivers at the bedside and that will help improve the experience for patients are what we focus on,” said Angie Kliewer, Monument Health Foundation Director. “So, we were happy to help with this project.”

The primary purpose for the iPads is to allow patients who don’t have other means to communicate with family and friends who can’t be there in person; but after the pandemic subsides devices may be used for telehealth purposes and patient education.

“We are proud to play a part in a project that combats the feeling of isolationism that many patients have been faced with during this unprecedented time,” said Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “These devices enable patients to be a part of family events and special conversations and to engage in the daily activities of their home life while in the hospital.”

In response to the pandemic, SDCF’s Board of Directors established the Coronavirus Response Fund to directly support the needs of communities and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. This fund addresses immediate needs including access to food, shortage of volunteers, healthcare sector support and human services sector support. Donations are being accepted. If you would like to lend your support to those who continue to be impacted by this virus, or just learn more, please visit Donations can be made on-line or checks may be directed to SDCF, PO Box 296, Pierre, SD 57501. One hundred percent of donations made to the SDCF Coronavirus Fund go directly to those in need throughout our state.

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 980 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2019 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.