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Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Establishes Frontline Families Fund in Partnership with Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm

Fund will provide financial support to families of frontline healthcare workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Osterholm
Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm

November 16, 2020

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation) today announced creation of the Frontline Families Fund in partnership with epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm. Osterholm is Regent Professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and a newly appointed member of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s coronavirus task force.

Osterholm said goals for the Frontline Families Fund are to provide direct financial support to families and scholarships for post-secondary education to the children of the nearly 1,400 frontline healthcare workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19, and shine a light on the pandemic’s disproportionate burden on Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

“I’m deeply troubled by the steep toll COVID-19 is taking among our frontline healthcare workers,” said Osterholm. “We can never make right what happened to these families. But we can do something for them as they have been there to care for us. This pandemic is so painful. We need a pandemic of caring to take it on.”

Jeremy Wells, senior vice president of philanthropic services for the Foundation, said the Foundation is honored to collaborate with Osterholm on this important philanthropic initiative. “Mike has identified urgent needs and profound inequities created by the pandemic. We are mustering the Foundation’s resources to get the fund into operation quickly, enlist additional partners and orchestrate further awareness and fundraising campaigns,” said Wells.

Other partners in the fund are:

Eligible families can access grants through the fund’s website:

Information regarding the scholarships will be available in coming months via the fund’s website and through the fund’s scholarship partner, Scholarship America. Plans are for scholarships to be available beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Frontline Families Fund is accepting donations from individuals, families, businesses and foundations. To donate, visit

Editor’s note: Additional information about the Frontline Families Fund, including a downloadable fund logo, images, fact sheet and video are available in the project’s pressroom.

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