NEWPORT, R.I. \u2014 Friends of Newport Hospital, a group comprised of community leaders dedicated to the support of Aquidneck Island\u2019s only hospital, has launched the \u201cOur Health Care Heroes\u201d campaign to raise funds for Newport Hospital\u2019s ongoing response to the COVID-19 epidemic.\n\nThe effort is organized through a new website, FriendsOfNewportHospital.org, and invites all in Newport County to get involved by making a gift in any amount they\u2019re able. Every dollar raised will remain local, benefitting the Newport Hospital Emergency Preparedness Fund to meet the needs of emergency response, treatment, containment and recovery efforts. Friends of Newport Hospital include Barbara van Beuren, Norey Dotterer Cullen, Elizabeth Leatherman, Judy McLennan, Jonathan Pardee, and Sharon Wood Prince.\n\n\u201cIt cannot be overstated how fortunate our community is to have a hospital of this caliber right in its backyard, especially at such an unprecedented time as now,\u201d said Barbara van Beuren, who has helped lead the effort.\n\n\u201cNewport Hospital is a world-class institution that keeps us healthy and safe, and with the Coronavirus surge here, they need our help \u2013 we all can do something. It isn\u2019t the amount that you give; it is that we participate as an entire community.\u201d\n\nFriends of Newport Hospital supports special projects designated by and specifically for the Newport Hospital Foundation, which was established in 2007 for the purpose of raising funds in support of the hospital\u2019s operational and capital needs. The Newport Hospital Foundation is its own nonprofit, separate from Lifespan, the hospital system of which Newport Hospital is an affiliate.\n\nThe Foundation features a 23-member board drawn from the Newport County community. Its most recent efforts were instrumental to the hospital\u2019s \u201cBeyond the Building\u201d campaign, which transformed the emergency department.\n\n\u201cDuring such an uncertain time for us all and our families, I\u2019ve been humbled by the many people who have asked what they can do to help the hospital,\u201d said Crista F. Durand, president of Newport Hospital. \u201cRight now, our most significant challenge is to ensure we have the resources to provide the critical services our community depends on. Every gift to this important campaign will make a difference. We are beyond grateful to Friends of Newport Hospital for their commitment and for rallying the community on our behalf.\u201d\n\nAbout Newport Hospital\n\nNewport Hospital was founded in 1873 and is Newport County\u2019s only acute care hospital. Located on Powel Avenue in Newport, it is a community hospital with a broad spectrum of health services, including an emergency department, an award- winning birthing center, a behavioral health unit, orthopedic and surgical services, a renowned rehabilitation division, and a full array of outpatient services. Newport Hospital holds Magnet designation for excellence in nursing care, and carries the prestigious Baby Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The hospital became a partner in the Lifespan health system in 1997. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @NewportHospital.