The company that now manages the Fairfax Community Hospital teamed up last Friday with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to distribute emergency groceries to 115 families.
“We saw some very thankful faces today,” said Jon Lowry, Community Development director for First Physicians Capital Group, which manages the hospital.
The food distribution took place Friday afternoon outside the hospital. The activity was an effort to help respond to economic needs created by the COVID-19 health crisis. Lowry said around 6,800 pounds of food had been provided to area residents.
Lowry said the interest of First Physicians Capital Group in the Fairfax hospital dates back beyond its involvement as the hospital’s management company. When FPCG found out, while the hospital was under previous management, that the 15-bed critical access facility was in trouble and staff members had not been paid, it arranged on two occasions for 1,000-pound food drops, he said.
“So this really is part of the DNA of this company,” Lowry said. “We often talk about what we call our mission-critical activity.”
Members of the Oklahoma Air Guard joined with FPCG and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma on Friday afternoon to distribute grocery boxes. Boxes were distributed one to each family. The food distribution was specifically targeted toward people who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as medical personnel and first-responders.
Lowry said the food distribution is just one element of a comprehensive effort that FPCG intends to carry out in the Fairfax community. He explained the company hopes to work with local churches to develop a ministerial alliance group that can be the basis for a chaplaincy program at the hospital.
“That is one of the things we would like to work on this summer, once we get past COVID-19,” Lowry said. “One of the things we really enjoy is working with the local churches.”
Lowry added that FPCG is particularly focused on providing high-quality health services for residents of rural Oklahoma towns.
“They deserve to have as valuable and as quality health care as individuals living in metropolitan areas,” he said.