VIDEOS: Natividad’s COVID-19 Response Receives Global Recognition from the World Health Organization’s Dr. Tedros, NIAID’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the CDC’s Dr. Robert Redfield

  • October 30, 2020

Natividad Foundation has recognized the Natividad “Family” as its 2020 Heroes. In a video montage unveiled during the Foundation’s Annual Donor & Hero Award Celebration on Thursday, October 29, world, national and local leaders and celebrities expressed their gratitude for the hospital’s essential workers.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said “The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all, but some communities are particularly vulnerable, including indigenous populations and migrants. That’s why it’s so important that Natividad provides care for all, regardless of anyone’s ability to pay, as well as offering health advice in languages like Triqui and Mixteco. Natividad is an example of how to provide equity in health care.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said “As we continue to contend with this historic pandemic that has upended so many facets of our lives, I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank the special frontline health care workers at Natividad hospital. At great risk to your own health, you bravely do your job day after day, caring for patients with COVID-19. It has been an extraordinary demonstration of selflessness and compassion.”

Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a letter, “I offer sincere congratulations to Natividad Foundation’s 2020 Hero Award recipients and to your hospital team for working to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019. It is due to the heroic actions of this nation’s frontline workers that we have been able to make the progress we have since the pandemic started.”

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said “We are grateful to the heroes at Natividad hospital for their outstanding work and dedication — sometimes under difficult and challenging circumstances — to making sure that people are cared for and their lives are safe. Working day and night, responding to emergencies, dealing with the needs of families and patients, you are truly the work of heroes. Our deepest thanks for what you do.”

Congressman Jimmy Panetta said “I’m absolutely honored to recognize the entire staff of Natividad hospital as the recipient of Natividad Foundation’s 2020 Hero Award. You deserve this now more than ever, not only for the amazing work you have done during this pandemic, but for the fortitude that you have shown for showing up to work every day. And for doing it with an understanding of what it takes to do your job and give back to the people of this community by keeping all communities healthy and safe. But that’s just what you do, be it in a pandemic, in a wildfire, in tough economic times, or at all times. Your tireless devotion and commitment to everybody in our home is not just admirable, it really is exceptional.”

Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez said “Every single person at Natividad has stepped up this year to take care of our community. I know it’s not easy and I know there’s been a lot of demands and asks of you, but today we as a community stop to celebrate you and thank you for all of your contributions and all of your efforts to keep us here in Monterey County safe. From the janitors, to the doctors, to the nurses, to the people running HVAC, and every single person in the warehouse and everywhere in between, we thank you for all of your efforts, knowing that this year has been challenging.” 

Natividad hospital staff received additional video recognition from:

  • Fiona the Hippo of the Cincinnati Zoo
  • Food Network’s Chef Duff Goldman
  • Gabe Kapler, Manager of the San Francisco Giants
  • Celebrity Chef Paul Deen
  • San Francisco 49ers Fullback Kyle Juszczyk
  • Chef Richard Blais of Bravo’s Top Chef
  • Actress Danica McKellar
  • Actress Melora Hardin
  • Salinas Valley Chamber Board Chair Andrea Bailey
  • San Francisco 4ers Assistant Offensive Coach Katie Sowers
  • Cory Chalmers, Host of A&E’s Hoarders
  • Robert DeLuca, Immediate Past President of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
  • Paul Farmer, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School
  • Andy Leach, Senior Director of Museum and Archival Collections at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Deepak Chopra, Alternative Medicine Advocate and Meditation Guru
  • American Journalist Chris Hansen

Natividad Foundation’s “Hero” Award was established in 2008 to recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions toward fulfilling Natividad’s mission to provide essential health care services for everyone in Monterey County.

The Foundation began planning the virtual event in the spring after the Board of Directors saw the incredible work the hospital was doing to prepare for and respond to the pandemic. They identified key leaders who have been deeply involved in driving the world’s COVID-19 response and invited them to comment on this special recognition. In addition to video acknowledgements, Natividad Foundation secured more than 465 prizes to give to hospital employees to continue celebrating them as Heroes.

While the event was about Natividad Foundation’s 2020 Heroes, the Foundation is proud to support all essential workers in the community. 20% of all sponsorships from the Annual Donor & Hero Award Celebration went to assist the economic recovery of local businesses impacted by COVID-19.