iPad Donation to County Hospitals Allows Isolated COVID-19 Patients to Virtually Visit Friends and Family

COVID19 Harbor UCLA iPads 04

Screen Shot 2020 05 06 at 2.56.17 PM

Cross-sector collaboration with Annenberg Foundation, Brilliant Corners, LA County & MobileDemand
provides much-needed devices to those suffering and assists staff with patient care

LOS ANGELES – May 7, 2020 – The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is pleased to announce the donation of 300 iPads to its four hospitals to facilitate patient-family communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. This generous gift is through a partnership with the Annenberg Foundation, Brilliant Corners, and the Los Angeles County Center for Strategic Partnerships.

“The engagement of loved ones during hospitalization has been shown to improve clinical outcomes,” said DHS Director, Dr. Christina Ghaly. “Clinical staff identified a role for virtual visiting through technology in order to facilitate this family involvement. The generous donations by the Annenberg Foundation and MobileDemand will help support this critical element of our patients’ care.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patient visitation by family and loved ones is limited at facilities in order to prevent exposure and the spread of disease. While there are some exceptions, such as the birth of a child or death of a patient, visitation is not permitted for the vast majority of patients and not allowed at all for COVID-19 patients.

The donation provides 300 iPads to be used in DHS hospitals to ensure patients and their families are able to connect, despite restrictions in access to the hospital. A second donation, by MobileDemand, provides rugged, protective healthcare iPad cases to protect against damage and loss. The rugged case also has an adjustable easel attached, providing effortless viewing for patients who are too weak to hold a tablet. Additionally, it frees health care staff from having to hold the device for patients.

“This is a wonderful example of how philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, government, and businesses can collaborate and meet an immediate need in our community,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Being able to offer an opportunity for comfort and connection to those suffering and to alleviate some of the stress from our frontline caregivers is of utmost importance.”

While social distancing has been successful in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles County, it is anticipated that it will continue for several months. With this gift, physicians and nurses will be able to place an iPad in the room of COVID and other critically-ill patients for the duration of the admission and reduce potential exposure and use of personal protective equipment going in and out of the room. Having a stationary iPad helps relieve medical staff who would otherwise have to hold the phone for a patient or search for the person’s personal phone. It also will allow patients who do not have a personal mobile device to communicate and “visit” with their family.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. Through its integrated system of 26 health centers and four hospitals – LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center – and expanded network of community partner clinics, DHS annually provides direct care for 600,000 unique patients, employs over 22,000 staff, and has an annual budget of over $6 billion. For additional information regarding DHS please visit www.dhs.lacounty.gov.

B-ROLL & PHOTOS AVAILABLE HERE (credit: County of Los Angeles): https://bit.ly/3dpVsgG.


The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment.

MobileDemand is a global provider of rugged tablets, cases and accessories, such as the iPad. Their rugged tablet solutions are used by mobile workers in many vertical markets, with a newly heightened focus on healthcare, restaurant and retail.

Brilliant Corners is a non-profit supportive housing provider focused on people experiencing or at risk of homelessness or institutionalization and operates the Los Angeles County Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool.

The Los Angeles County Center for Strategic Partnerships is a public-private entity with a home in the public sector at the Chief Executive Office at the County of Los Angeles and a home in the private sector at Southern California Grantmakers with funding from 20 Foundation partners.

Related News

Civic Engagement|

Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation Receive LAFD Foundation’s Community Impact Award

Disaster Relief|

Inside Philanthropy: A Funder-Backed Social Enterprise Pivots to Provide Healthy Meals Amid COVID-19

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILE
Disaster Relief|

Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Annenberg Foundation Launch ShakeAlertLA Mobile Application