Temple University Hospital is calling for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continues to grow in North Philadelphia and the surrounding region in the coming days and weeks.
To help keep vital front-line emergency personnel healthy and able during the crisis, Temple University’s Fox School of Business is donating $20,000 to a Temple University Health System fund for PPE that officials believe will need continued growth to match the pandemic. The Fox Community came together to redirect gifts from the Fox Dean’s Fund for Excellence to Temple Hospital. The hospital will use donations from Fox friends, alumni, staff and faculty to buy PPE for medical personnel on the front-lines of the pandemic.
“We are facing this challenge, not as individuals or in groups, but as a society,” says Dean Ronald Anderson. “We may be sequestered in our individual homes, but we are in this together, and we need to support one another through this crisis. That means making sure that our emergency workers here in North Philadelphia are healthy and able to treat those of us who are not.”
PPE, which includes masks, gloves and face shields, are worn by hospital personnel who interact with sick patients and are designed to keep them healthy and keep them working to save others. The PPEs also can help keep conditions for sick patients from worsening.
“Temple University Health System is grateful for this generous donation from the Fox School of Business,” says Michael A. Young, president and CEO of Temple University Health System and Temple University Hospital. “The health and safety of our staff, our patients and our community continues to be our highest priority and maintaining sufficient quantities of personal protection equipment is vitally important to those efforts. This donation will provide crucial resources needed by our clinical staff to protect them, our patients and the community.”
Officials fear that as hospitals deal with more and more patients, their stockpile of materials to protect the health of their workers will disappear, putting more and more healthcare workers at risk.
“There is a critical need for PPE at hospitals across the country, including here at Temple,” says Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP, chair and professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and director of the Temple Lung Center. “We are on the front lines of treating COVID-19, and as caregivers, it’s imperative that we have the PPE that we need to be able to continue providing safe, quality care to our patients.”
The hospital is actively looking for more PPE, which in some cases are one-time-use items, as they expect the number of COVID-19 patients in Philadelphia to grow. Donations of these items can be dropped off at the front desk near the Broad and Ontario streets entrance to Temple University Hospital or arrangements can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the PPE items needed are
- N95 masks,
- Gowns (including surgical and isolation),
- Gloves (all sizes),
- Face shields,
- Tyvek coveralls,
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes and
Dean Anderson said he hopes that the donation is the first of many to Temple University Hospital as well as other facilities in the city. Donations can be made to the TUH Emergency Fund to support response efforts at (giving.temple.edu/tuhemergencyresponse.
The Fox School recently reaffirmed its role in the Philadelphia community with a Strategic Plan with an enhanced commitment to continued service to the Temple community. For Anderson, that means providing business education and financial support and services to the region through programs like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the University’s incubator and scholarships and programs focused on helping local high school students transition to the world of higher education.
Yet current circumstances have dictated that serving the community means supporting the hospital’s personnel, according to Anderson.
“We are committed to the well-being of our community,” Anderson says. “At any other time, our mission is easily defined: Provide a quality, affordable education to the future business leaders and innovators of the Philadelphia community, regardless of their means. Now, facing this unprecedented challenge, we recognize that the health of everyone in our city is central to that mission. We must protect our doctors, nurses and facilities workers because we will persevere because of their skill, their care and their professionalism.”