Stony Brook University kicked off a donation drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) on Monday to stay ahead of demand and help protect nurses, first responders and other key workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. The drive is accepting face shields, N95 3M 1860 masks, protective eyewear, goggles, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other supplies required for staff safety. All PPE donations are being collected in-person or through the mail, and it appears to be going well so far.
According to a tweet shared by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Monday afternoon, this effort has already brought in more than 40,000 gloves, 3,000 N95 particulate respirator masks, 1,500 gowns and 3,000 surgical masks—all of which will be delivered to the important personnel who put themselves at risk for the sake of others.
“It’s amazing how people can come together to support one another in a time of crisis,” Stony Brook University Hospital CEO Carol Gomes said in a statement announcing the drive. “We’ve seen many posts from friends and neighbors offering donations to help the staff at Stony Brook University Hospital. The entire campus community deeply appreciates the outpouring of support. We are grateful for the community’s willingness to help one another. We’re all in this together.”
Stony Brook University is collecting the PPE donations, which are then given to Stony Brook University Hospital and distributed to medical personnel to use while interacting with known COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation (PUI) for the virus.
Many neighbors and community groups have asked about making cards to let the medical staff who are working around the clock know they are thinking of them. To avoid possibly passing contamination through such items, Stony Brook advises that the easiest and most effective way to share such sentiments is through a simple cell phone video. If you would like to send a message of support, please email a video no longer than 20 seconds to Joan.Dickinson@stonybrook.edu. The videos will be shared throughout the hospital areas and visible as the employees move throughout their day.
Stony Brook also has residents at the Long Island State Veterans Home who are missing their families but can’t have visitors because they are in a high-risk group. Anyone who would like to send a veteran a message can email a video no longer than 20 seconds to the LISVH Deputy Executive DirectorJonathan Spier at jonathan.spier@LISVH.org. These messages will be shared on the digital boards at their facility.
If members of the community have medical supplies or comfort care items to donate, they should email Joan Dickinson, Stony Brook University Community Relations Director, at Joan.Dickinson@stonybrook.edu or call her at 631-219-0603 to arrange a drop-off time and location so donations are put into the right hands quickly. Given the need for social distancing, Stony Brook would prefer people schedule donations, as this is the safest and most efficient way for all involved.