As part of their ongoing work to keep the public informed, Stony Brook Medicine sent out a “COVID-19 Briefing Update” on Friday, explaining various efforts now underway to protect healthcare workers on the front lines of this coronavirus crisis.
In addition to offering virtual mental health and wellness services, Stony Brook’s hospitals are taking steps to install protective barriers and devise innovative ways to create distance between staff and patients and visitors who are infected or potentially infected with the COVID-19 virus.
The hospitals are also tackling the growing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE)—such as masks, gloves, goggles and face shields—with donation and funding drives, as well as a number of other creative solutions, including making their own equipment using 3D printing and more helpful resources via Stony Brook University and beyond.
The letter is reproduced in full below:
Mental Health Experts Boost Spirits and Provide Counseling
Unprecedented times require unprecedented efforts. They also can take a significant toll on our personal and mental health. Our Disaster Mental Health Team is busy working to bring us helpful ways to deal with the stress and anxiety we may be feeling during this time. They have created a Wellness Champions channel on Microsoft Teams. Starting this week, virtual support groups are being offered three times a day—at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 8 p.m.—through the Virtual Support Groups Teams channel, also on Microsoft Teams.
Other support resources include daily live streaming meditations, virtual mass/prayers from our Chapel and inspirational messages of support which can be found on the Community Messages of Support channel. Dr. Adam Gonzalez, a licensed clinical psychologist and Director of Behavioral Health and Founding Director of the Mind Body Clinical Research Center at Stony Brook Medicine, is available to discuss this initiative.
Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Supplies of individual items of personal protective equipment can be expected to become strained as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. In anticipation of strained resources, Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital are using extension tubing so health care workers do not have to enter a patient’s room to monitor IV bags. Here are other innovative ways we’re addressing the potential shortage of PPE
Installing physical barriers (e.g., glass or plastic windows) at reception areas to limit contact between triage personnel and potentially infectious patients.
SBUH is accepting iPad donations to provide telecommunication for our patients to connect with our medical staff.
Elective surgeries and procedures have been postponed allowing PPE from those units to be deployed elsewhere.
Stony Brook Now Accepting Personal Protective Equipment Donations
In order to stay ahead of the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current coronavirus outbreak, Stony Brook University is hosting a donation drive, accepting donations in person and via mail.
Stony Brook University will be collecting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be given to Stony Brook University Hospital. The university is currently accepting PPE donations that include face shields, N95 3M 1860 masks, protective eyewear, goggles, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other supplies required for staff safety. The PPE will then be distributed to medical personnel to use while interacting with patients who are suspected of and confirmed with coronavirus.
To donate items, please email COVID19donations@stonybrook.edu so that a drop-off time and location can be arranged.
Fundraiser for PPE Needs for SBUH Workers
Workers on the front lines at Stony Brook University Hospital have already received more gloves, gowns, N95 masks and a generator that sanitizes masks to reuse them thanks to donations to the Coronavirus Crisis Fund. The Della Pietra family launched the fundraising challenge to raise $500,000 for critical COVID-19 supplies and treatments.
“Please accept their challenge. Help us purchase the supplies we need to protect and care for our community,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior VP of Health Sciences and Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “As I watch everyone come together during this difficult time, I have never been more proud to be a part of this incredible community.”
Donations can be made online with each being generously doubled by the Della Pietra Family.
40-Plus 3D PPE Face Shields Donated from SBU’s iCREATE Lab and Suffolk Libraries
In addition to the 3D face shields currently in production in the University’s iCREATE Innovation Lab, Suffolk County libraries have also donated more than 40 frames made by their 3D printers. The frames are then being brought to campus in shifts and assembled by the team at iCREATE. Our supply chain professionals are working diligently to secure additional supplies and substitutable items. We are working with businesses in the community who can develop compliant face shields at mass quantities; our own campus innovators are developing PPE through 3D printing (see video through link or above), which have already been deployed.