As local medical professionals are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, community members are rallying by donating supplies to assist healthcare workers.
University of Texas at Tyler schools and departments came together to donate personal protective equipment to UT Health East Texas.
UT Tyler’s Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing and departments of biology, chemistry and biochemistry gathered thousands of gloves, masks, shoe covers, gowns, bouffant caps and plastic goggles, according to the college.
“Our concern for safety extends beyond our campus. We want to do our part to help protect our healthcare community during this uncertain time,” said Dr. Neil Gray, UT Tyler College of Arts and Sciences, dean.
The donated equipment included 10,000 gloves, 2,389 masks, over 560 shoe covers, 481 gowns, 266 bouffant caps and 30 plastic goggles.
UT Health East Texas and Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health are giving guidance on the topic of donations.
To establish a safe donation process, UT Health East Texas created a supply task force to coordinate the collection of supplies to treat COVID-19 patients
These supplies include lab testing supplies (swabs, reagent and transport media), personal protective equipment (masks, gowns and face shields) and sanitization supplies.
Those interested in donating should send a description of the item and their contact information to COVID-19Supplies@uthet.com.
UT Health East Texas Director of Communications Allison Pollan said they’ve received several inquiries about supplies. Most requests have been from people wanting to sew masks for the hospital system.
“We’re very appreciative of their efforts,” Pollan said. “We’re just extremely grateful that folks want to donate in this time of need.”
In a statement, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System said that while humbled by the community support and outreach, the hospital system will not be accepting any donations at this time.
“At Christus Health, we are continually amazed by the generosity and selflessness of the communities we are privileged to serve,” the statement said. “Even while these communities cope with the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19, we are again amazed by their offers to give to their friends and neighbors in health care through our hospitals and clinics.”
If the policy regarding donation changes, the hospital system will let the public know.
“We appreciate the expressions of kindness to all of us as we respond to COVID-19,” the statement read.