Remote photo

The patient kit for home health monitoring for COVID-19 patients includes, from left, a pulse oximeter, thermometer, and incentive spirometer, plus training in how to use each.

MICHIGAN CITY — The Franciscan Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Fund has received a major boost with a $15,000 donation from Superior Ambulance Service.

The gift is being directed to purchase more than 500 COVID-19 kits to help coronavirus patients continue their recovery at home.

Franciscan Health’s medical leaders emphasized the difference this will make for patients battling COVID-19 and other ailments.

“We have been able to purchase pulse oximeters and thermometers, which are part of a kit provided to COVID patients who are being sent home after evaluation and treatment in the emergency room, urgent care or receiving treatment in the hospital, said Franciscan Health Michigan City vice president of medical affairs Dr. Anil Chawla.

“This helps them closely monitor their condition at home, recover faster and return for further care if parameters decline.”

Dr. Ibrahim Zabaneh, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan Health Dyer, Hammond and Munster said the gift will help improve quality of care.

“It is greatly appreciated, and it will be utilized to its fullest potential in the management of COVID patients during this difficult pandemic,” he said,

“This donation will help us build and maintain our monitoring program, hoping to improve the patient’s quality of care.”

Franciscan Health Crown Point vice president of medical affairs Dr. Erik Mikaitis, MD, said, “Superior’s generous gift is deeply appreciated by our Crown Point team and will be used, in part, to supplement equipment for our current Remote Patient Monitoring program.

“The remaining funds will help us build upon our current process by leveraging Bluetooth connected devices allowing us to provide our patients with an individualized care plan.”

“We are grateful for our over 20-year partnership with Franciscan Health and are very happy that we have been able to continue providing medical and philanthropic support to the System,” said Mary Franco, vice president of Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service.

Franco said Superior has transported over 45,000 COVID-positive patients in their five-state coverage area of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Franciscan Health Foundation executive director Rick Peltier said the gift is just the latest contribution from the ambulance service.

“Superior Ambulance has been a loyal philanthropic partner since 2009 and has contributed nearly $120,000 to our Franciscan Health Foundation,” he said.

“This transformational giving has created an incredible impact for our most vulnerable patient population. We are truly grateful for Superior’s medical and charitable commitment to improving the health of our communities.”

To learn more about the remote patient monitoring program, view an online video at To help support the Franciscan Health Foundation Preparedness and Response Fund, visit

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