St. Joseph’s receives $500,000 from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the first and longest operating medical facility in the Valley, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. The donation is designated to St. Joseph’s Foundation to support the costs incurred at St. Joseph’s Hospital due to the extraordinary events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

St. Joseph’s will utilize these funds to maintain the safety and well-being of caregivers on the frontlines treating patients afflicted with this very challenging disease as well as supporting all the researchers, program managers and staff at the hospital doing the critical work to fight this unprecedented fast-moving virus. 

“The two organizations have built a legacy of serving the needs of this community, and we are grateful for Piper Trust’s philanthropic support in the past, but we are especially grateful to have this much needed additional funding as we combat the biggest pandemic of our time,” says Terri Hoffman, President of St. Joseph’s Foundation. 

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $475 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations.

US Foods donates more than 16,000 cases of food

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to heavily impact the United States, food banks across the country are struggling to meet demand as a growing number of people have been laid off and are turning to these centers at the same time as less food is being donated due to stay-at-home orders. 

That is why in Phoenix and Tempe, US Foods has donated more than $432,000 worth of product, which equals more than 16,000 cases of food.

“In these difficult times there is no way St. Mary’s Food Bank could keep up with the incredible need we are seeing from families without our great partners stepping up,” said Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis. “Our thanks to US Foods for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of food that will help curb a demand that has continued to rise due to COVID-19.”

Veyo will transport COVID-19 infected patients to essential medical appointments

Veyo, the nation’s first and only full-service, tech-enabled Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) broker, has announced the creation of a specialized fleet of drivers who will transport COVID-19 infected/suspected patients to and from life-sustaining medical appointments, with the aim of alleviating the extreme stress that has been placed on the non-emergency ambulance industry.

Veyo’s special fleet has the capacity to transport hundreds of members per day, and trips will remain within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area upon launch with tentative plans to expand into other markets such as Tucson, Southern California, and Connecticut.

“In the last few weeks, we have experienced a high volume of inquiries from our healthcare provider partners asking if we could transport members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Non-emergency ambulance companies are overburdened, and these members still need transportation to and from their non-COVID related health appointments such as dialysis and chemotherapy. We knew that Veyo could set a new program in action to help these members by providing safe and quality transportation services that they can rely on and trust,” said Josh Komenda, president of Veyo. “Not only do we value the health of our members, but we also greatly value the health of our drivers. Fleet protocols were developed by Veyo leadership by adopting recommendations from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), and with direct input and review from Veyo’s Medical/Clinical consultants. We’re confident that the processes, training, and strategies that we set in place will protect our drivers and allow them to help give back to our community.”

“We are grateful to Veyo for developing this solution in support of those in need here in Arizona,” said Tad Gary, COO of Mercy Care, an Arizona Medicaid health plan. “We see this Specialized Fleet as a vital resource now and in the future so that patients have reliable access to their critical healthcare services.”

Drivers have been selected and screened from Veyo’s existing driver network, have already undergone Veyo’s standard driver training, and have extensive experience performing ambulatory transport with Veyo. This select group of drivers has undergone extensive training including how to self-monitor and recognize COVID-19 symptoms, how to properly put on and take off personalized protective equipment (PPE), basic sanitization do’s and don’ts, trip protocols and rules, procedures to follow after a trip, and more. Veyo has supplied each driver with masks, scrubs, and other protective equipment to help protect both driver and passenger. Additionally, each driver has been provided a specialized vehicle that has vinyl seats, which are easier for cleaning, as well as a plastic divider that separates the front and back half of the vehicle. 

Veyo is contracted with a highly trained and certified team of experts that specialize in HAZMAT and biohazard cleaning and are nationally recognized in this field. After completing each trip, a certified cleaner will sterilize the vehicle following the specified Terminal Vehicle Cleaning Procedure. This process consists of the sterilization of the interior passenger section of the vehicle using 200 degrees dry-steam, killing any surface and atmospheric contaminants. This will be followed by disinfecting all vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces including the interior and exterior door handle, interior ceiling-mounted handles, and plastic dividers. This will be done by using EPA-registered disinfectant, which is known to kill emerging pathogens, which is COVID-19’s current classification. This process will be completed after every trip to prevent any cross-contamination, so when a new trip begins, the vehicle will be sanitized and safe for the next passenger. 

Veyo will continue to service the Valley and other potential locations in this capacity for however long the service is needed.


AZ Big Media is looking to spotlight those individuals and businesses that have stepped up in the face of the current crisis we are all living through and made a difference in the communities in which we live, work and play. Do you know someone or an organization we should spotlight? Send the details to