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Honoring Friends and Neighbors

Back in 2008, when Arlene Key needed Hoag, it was there to save her life. When she learned about the Hoag COVID-19 Support Fund, she was ready to be there for Hoag.


It started when her realtor’s wife offered to make Arlene and her husband some masks. Grateful for the thoughtful gesture, Arlene offered to pay, but her friends refused. Other friends began making masks and offered to run errands and deliver groceries for Arlene and her husband, who were observing state stay-at-home orders.

“They all refused to take my money,” she says. “But they were doing so much for others, and the Hoag COVID-19 Support Fund was my chance to give back in honor of their efforts.”

Hoag will use philanthropy to help fund three clinical research trials that offer hope against the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of the trials are testing Remdesivir (RDV), a potentially promising antiviral drug, while the third trial is testing the effectiveness of immune blood plasma.

The Hoag COVID-19 Support Fund will go to areas of greatest need, including assisting Hoag in providing additional equipment to protect Hoag staff and patients. Local businesses and individuals are also finding other ways to give. Many have donated items, such as personal protective equipment.

“My gifts to the Hoag COVID-19 Fund have been modest, but each one is made in the name of family and friends who made us masks or benefited us with an act of kindness,” Arlene says.

Arlene’s giving to the Hoag COVID-19 Support Fund also had a deeper meaning when she learned that her former husband was stricken with coronavirus while recovering from a motor vehicle accident at a local skilled nursing facility.

“The entire family remains close to him, and we feel so fortunate that he was taken to Hoag and immediately put on the Remdesivir drug trial. After a 10-day treatment, he has remarkably recovered and will be discharged home in the next few days due in great part to the physicians, nurses and staff at Hoag!”

Longtime Hoag Volunteer and Fan

Arlene’s devotion to Hoag began when Aidan Raney, M.D., the James & Pamela Muzzy Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery and program director of Cardiovascular Surgical Services at the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute, performed open-heart surgery on her to correct an aortic aneurism. “He saved my life,” she remembers.

She also remembers the devotion of the staff at Hoag Intensive Care Unit and Hoag Cardiac Rehab. Her son, Keith Fiscus, a former emergency room nurse at Hoag, slept in the chair next to her bed to make sure she followed doctors’ and nurses’ orders.

“Because of my experience and my recovery, my friends have gone to Dr. Raney for treatment,” she says. “There is no hesitation on my part to recommend my loved ones to the doctors and nurses at Hoag.”

Since August 2008, Arlene has been a tireless volunteer, selling raffle tickets at the Christmas Carol Ball and Hoag Summer Fest and serving on the 552 Board in 2010. Today, she enjoys making thank-you calls to donors and hearing their inspiring stories of why they give to Hoag.

“The most important thing is giving back to Hoag for what they’ve done for me,” she says. “It is a tremendous organization.”

If you would like more information or to make a gift to the Hoag COVID-19 Support Fund, please visit covid19.hoagpromise.org

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