PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Highmark Health is rolling out its “Heroes Appreciation Program” today, a fund that will help Allegheny Health Network hospital employees.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” said Highmark Health President and CEO, David Holmberg. “Despite the uncertainty, AHN employees have come through in a big way for the people of Western Pennsylvania at this critical time. We felt it was important to come through for them, and to demonstrate our profound appreciation for their personal sacrifice, courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the people and communities we serve.”

The one-time payment will go to approximately 12,000 AHN employees during the upcoming pay period.

Workers including nurses, medical assistants, therapists, technicians, and social workers. There will also be payments made to “unsung heroes” which are environmental services professionals, dietary service workers, maintenance staff, and those tasked with keeping the hospitals safe and clean.

“Our employees have been absolutely amazing in helping us respond to the unprecedented challenges of this public health crisis,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, President and CEO of AHN. “No matter what has been asked of them, and no matter the personal cost, they’ve routinely answered the call to keep our patients safe and provide them with the exceptional care and comfort they have needed. They are indeed the ‘heroes’ of this story.”