The Pittsburgh-based Richard King Mellon Foundation has announced a $15 million commitment in support of COVID-19 response efforts across southwestern Pennsylvania.
The funding will support activities in the areas of health innovation, including efforts to repurpose existing drugs for pandemic needs, the manufacture of medical supplies and vaccine research; economic development, with a focus on preventing job losses and enabling economic recovery; and emergency operating grants for struggling nonprofits. Grant recipients include Global Links, which was awarded $160,000 in support of a partnership with Day Owl and Highmark/Allegheny Health Network to produce fifty thousand plastic face shields; the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Vaccine Research, one of the few research centers in the country to have received live COVID-19 virus samples from the Centers for Disease Control, which was awarded a grant of $196,000 for the purchase of specialized research equipment; the Progress Fund, which will receive $500,000 to help small businesses in the region avoid further layoffs and continue to operate; and Bridgeway Capital, which was awarded $500,000 to kickstart a $2.25 million COVID-19 response fund focused on helping small businesses navigate virus-related business disruptions.
"Pittsburgh once again is stepping up against adversity, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation is eager to provide strategic support that helps at this essential hour," said the foundation's director, Sam Reiman. "As we do so, we will continue to look for opportunities to work in collaboration with our peer foundations, for-profit, and public sector partners to maximize our cumulative positive impact on the communities and organizations we all hold dear. The Richard King Mellon Foundation has served as a reservoir of stability in the face of economic, environmental, and now health crises for more than seventy years. We will once again get through this crisis together."
(Photo credit: University of Pittsburgh)