(Olympia, WA) – Raina Mathews, a 9th grade high school student at Annie Wright Schools, started her own GoFundMe account and raised enough money to donate 10 clinical-grade Gooseneck stands, each paired with a brand-new iPad, to rural health systems in Washington State. The stands can be wheeled into a patient’s room, and through Doxy or another connection platform, can connect them directly to their family.
“I started this project to help connect people with their families while they were in the hospital with COVID-19,” Mathews said. “With the help of my family and church, the Mar Thoma Church of Greater Seattle, we exceeded our fundraising goals.”
Mathews and her parents recently hand delivered the first order of iPads to Skyline Health (White Salmon, WA), Prosser Memorial Health (Prosser, WA), and Columbia County Health System (Dayton, WA). “With the help of the Rural Collaborative, we were able to identify the hospitals that needed them the most,” said Mathews.
Executive Director of the Rural Collaborative, Dr. Elya Prystowsky, said “When Ms. Mathews first contacted me, I thought it was a prank. Most young people are not aware of the technology barriers that exist in our rural communities. I came to find out that she is the real deal!”
The first hospital to raise their hand for the donated equipment was Prosser Memorial Health. “We were thrilled to accept this gift for our patients from this exceptional young person. The initiative and drive demonstrated by Raina with assistance from her little brother and parents is an example of the compassion and commitment that everyone in healthcare strives to emulate each and every day. Raina has a bright future ahead of her and should definitely be on everyone’s watch list of Who’s Making a Difference in Our World.” said David Rollins, Chief Financial Officer at Prosser.
Next was Columbia County Health System. “Raina is a caring, solution-oriented soul that will have a positive impact on whatever she puts her mind to. She designed and funded a medical grade solution meant to address our residents’ needs to both see and communicate with their loved ones. We related how hard it was on our residents during the pandemic lockdowns, and we express our deep gratitude to her for taking on this compassionate mission.” said Shane McGuire, Chief Executive Officer from Columbia County.
Last was Skyline Health. “What an amazing gift that was given to our patients and staff. The iPads will be a great resource, but Raina’s story and passion brought a needed boost of joy to Skyline that will long outlive the technology her and her team gave us.” said Steve OpBroek, IT Manager at Skyline.
Ms. Mathews and her family continue to receive requests the free iPads, as word of mouth spreads that they are, indeed, real. “Even the hospitals who did not need an iPad, messaged me to share that their hearts were full just knowing that people like Ms. Mathews exist in the world,” said Dr. Prystowsky. “We look forward to seeing what she does next!”