DTE Energy Foundation bolsters historic COVID-19 relief campaign: 100,000 respirator masks delivered to area hospitals with two million more on order
Today’s hospital shipment is one component of the DTE Foundation’s expansive coronavirus relief campaign. “We’re just getting started,” DTE Energy President and CEO Jerry Norcia declares.
DETROIT, April 8, 2020 — The DTE Energy Foundation today delivered 100,000 KN95 respiratory masks to hospitals in southeast Michigan, the latest donation in an unprecedented campaign to protect Michiganders from the ravages of COVID-19.
The DTE Foundation is fully activated during this crisis, having already donated more than 50,000 respiratory masks to the Detroit Police Department, the Highland Park Police Department and hospitals across metropolitan Detroit and greater Michigan. As part of its comprehensive COVID-19 relief campaign, the Foundation is also supporting more than 1,000 non-profits across the state, funding more than one million meals and helping 100,000 families with basic needs. Last week, the Foundation announced that it will match donations to the Michigan Association of United Ways and Michigan Action through April 16.
“We’re just getting started. The DTE Foundation is pulling out all the stops to help protect the heroes of our communities,” said DTE President and CEO Jerry Norcia. “For weeks, the DTE Foundation and its partners have been feeding Michiganders and equipping first responders. Now, thanks to the tenacity of our remarkable supply chain team, we can protect the Detroit-area health care workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic.”
The KN95 masks, referred to as “filtering face piece respirators” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, remove particles from the air that are breathed through it. Hospitals in Detroit and throughout the state are running critically short of these vital devices that can stem the spread of the virus to doctors and nurses.
“The DTE Energy Foundation’s donation is just one example of how Michiganders are rallying behind one another in this critical time,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am so proud of the people and the business leaders of this state who are stepping up to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect Michigan families. We will get through this together.”
DTE’s mask distribution has not been limited to hospitals. In late March, Mayor Mike Duggan asked DTE to help equip Detroit police officers with face masks. Within hours, the company delivered more than 2,000 masks to the Detroit Police Department.
“Keeping our first responders and medical professionals safe is a key priority – and DTE has shown up to help in a big way,” Duggan said. “When our police officers needed these masks, DTE responded with a delivery in two hours. As our hospitals ran critically low on masks, DTE worked around the clock to source KN95 masks to help. DTE has been there for Detroit every step of the way during this pandemic.”
Weeks ago, the DTE Foundation reached out to the Michigan Emergency Response Team to learn how it might help secure respiratory masks for health care heroes. Having already secured these masks for its employees who are on the front lines restoring power and repairing gas leaks, DTE’s procurement team activated its suppliers to identify increasingly scarce resources for the masks. A SWAT team of DTE supply chain experts worked around the clock to buy masks from a variety of local and international sources.
“Our supply chain team was relentless,” Norcia said. “They worked 24/7 chasing every available mask across the globe.”
The bulk of DTE’s 2.3 million mask order was secured with the help of DTE’s partner, Choctaw-Kaul, a minority-owned distribution company in Detroit. In tandem and as part of its $16 million commitment to help Michigan weather this crisis, DTE Foundation is donating these masks and coordinating the distribution of the masks with the State of Michigan’s Emergency Command Center and county emergency managers who are determining the distribution priority for KN95 Masks. Medical and first responder organizations interested in being included in the donation of these masks are encouraged to contact their county emergency manager.
The DTE Foundation is also supporting small businesses across the state. The Foundation, in cooperation with Tech Town, is funding support for 360 small businesses. The DTE Foundation has also provided a grant to the Accounting Aid Society to guide small businesses in accessing the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to pay employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
Meantime, DTE Executive Chairman and Chair of Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) Gerry Anderson is leading a special task force gathering best practices from global companies and the most up-to-date information from state and national government sources to help employers, associations and our state respond quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 global health emergency. The task force is working with the Governor’s office to provide constructive guidance for dealing with the crisis.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects; renewable natural gas; natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage; and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE utility operations will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric aspires to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. DTE is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com.
ABOUT THE DTE ENERGY FOUNDATION
The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2019, the DTE Energy Foundation provided grant support to hundreds of non-profits throughout the company's service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in communities across Michigan in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Visit DTEFoundation.com to learn more.
For further information, members of the media may contact:
Colleen Rosso, DTE Energy Foundation, 313.235.5555