Members of National Nurses Untied (NNU) wear protective masks while demonstrating outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. NNU, the nations' largest union of registered nurses in the country representing 155,000 RNs, is demanding the White House helps to ensure healthcare workers have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) while working with coronavirus patients. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Members of National Nurses United called Tuesday, in Washington, for better personal protective equipment for health care workers, while carrying photos of nurses who have died in the battle against COVID-19.
(Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The Cigna Foundation and the New York Life Foundation have started a new fund, the Brave of Heart Fund, that will support the survivors of men and women who die fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will provide monetary grants for the families of doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, cafeteria workers, custodians, volunteers, and others who lose their lives while working to protect others against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19 pneumonia, heart problems and kidney problems.

The Cigna Foundation and the New York Life Foundation are each making $25 million in startup contributions.

The New York Life Foundation has agreed to match the first $25 million in individual contributions received, the foundations say.

(Related: MassMutual to Give $3 Billion in Life Insurance to Health Care Workers)

Cigna and New York Life says they the fund will raise at least $100 million.

The companies’ foundations have picked E4E Relief, a provider of charitable employee relief funds, to administer the fund.

The fund will begin accepting applications in May.

The fund will start by providing $15,000 grants, to help families with immediate expenses. Families can also apply for up to $60,000 in additional support.

Families can use the grants to pay for medical care and counseling, housing, food, transportation, education, and other needs.

Cigna and New York Life say Cigna will also provide emotional support services for the families.

David Cordani, president of Cigna, said in a statement that his company is proud to partner with New York Life to support the families of the nation’s health care workers and volunteers.

Ted Mathas, New York Life’s chairman said tough times reveal true heroes.

“The heroes today are not only the courageous and selfless frontline health care workers and volunteers who, without hesitation and without question, have put themselves in harm’s way to help those who desperately need it, but also their families who are living with the anxiety and fear of what may happen to their loved ones in the days ahead,” Mathas said.

— Read NAIFA Adds COVID-19 Support Programon ThinkAdvisor.

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