Health Sciences Department donates protection materials to local hospitalsApril 2, 2020
As many Heartland Community College health sciences graduates are on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has lent a hand in providing some much-needed supplies to local hospitals.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH) was one of three local hospitals that received a donation of protective equipment from Heartland Health Sciences programs.
In March, Heartland responded to the pandemic by transitioning the remainder of Spring semester classes to an online format. With students not attending in-person lab classes, Jennifer O’Connor, Dean of Health Sciences and Director of Nursing, looked to classroom supplies to fill a more urgent need in the community.
“Tara Morris, one of our full-time Nursing Faculty, is also working in the ER at ALMH,” O’Connor said. “She told me they needed any supplies possible.”
Aware that healthcare workers have been needing to ration and recycle their protective equipment (PPE), O’Connor began gathering the medical supplies that her department no longer required, then donated them to local hospitals.
“I was also contacted by Laurie Round, the Chief Nurse Executive at Advocate BroMenn regarding supplies,” O’Connor states. “We collected N95 masks, surgical masks, protective gowns, safety goggles, assorted other PPE like booties and hair covers, and gloves from the [HCC] labs,” O’Connor added. “I think we donated about 400 gowns and 500 masks.”
OSF St. Joseph in Bloomington-Normal also received PPE supplies from Heartland’s Health Sciences department.
Many hospitals and healthcare providers are seeking donations to help protect healthcare professionals, their patients, and the community. Items the public can contribute include hand sanitizer, goggles/safety glasses, single-use gloves, and disinfectant wipes. The public should contact any healthcare provider before making a donation at their site.
Written by: Steve Fast