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Stevenson Memorial in need of community support

April 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

As COVID-19 puts a growing strain on health services, hospitals across the province are requesting personal protective equipment (PPE), including Stevenson Memorial.

The hospital is encouraging businesses and individuals with unused, unopened, unexpired PPE such as masks and gloves, to donate them to the hospital.

Since launching a PPE Drive last week, the hospital’s Director of Development and Capital Campaign Manager Melody McLean said they’ve received incredible support.

“We had an overwhelming…and really positive response from the community,” McLean noted.

“It’s really quite amazing how many people have reached out with something.”

Because Stevenson Memorial Hospital is on the smaller side, McLean said they generally don’t have a large stock of supplies on hand.

“Anybody familiar with the size of the facility knows there’s not a ton of storage space,” she explained.

“So, we supply what we need to and for our normal uses it would be more than enough but the increase in what we’re using on a weekly basis is so significant.”

The gaps in medical supplies for health facilities across the province began in January when the healthcare community began to anticipate an outbreak, so medical supplies became high demand, said McLean.

“Now, when the hospital and healthcare facilities across the country are in need of stuff, nobody has it,” she said.

“The suppliers don’t have on hand what the hospitals need right now, so it’s the community coming together.”

She said she was referred to a supplier in Brampton, who told her they’d be happy to sell supplies but were completely out of stock.

“The problem is they have everybody that they currently supply too and they’re even turning them away,” McLean noted.

“Everything’s on back order so as stock is coming in, they’re filling backorders that they’ve had for quite some time.”

Thankfully, the whole community is pitching in to lessen the gap.

“Even doctors offices and dentist offices have sent their supplies, especially dentist offices that know that unless it’s an emergency they’re not treating people right now,” said McLean. “They’ve sent gloves and masks and anything that they could.”

Beattie’s Distillers recently switched to hand sanitizer production to help lessen the shortage locally. They donated several cases to Stevenson Memorial Hospital. Honda and Nottawasaga have also helped out where possible, said McLean.

The much-needed PPE and medical supplies are essential for protecting frontline healthcare workers.

“There’s nothing more important than keeping the community, the staff, our patients…and anyone else visiting the hospital, safe,” McLean noted. “Without the appropriate supplies it is difficult to do that.”

With COVID-19 keeping everyone tucked away at home, McLean said now is a good time for people to make a positive impact on local health care.

“There’s been a few people in the community who have done different smaller fundraisers…from their home,” she remarked.

“They let us know they’re doing it ahead of time and then they donate the money so it can be used where it is most needed.”

Meanwhile, the needs of the hospital are changing on a daily basis.

To stay up to date on what is most needed, visit: www.stevensonhospital.ca/stevenson-ppe-drive.html and view the bolded items listed.

Currently, they’re looking for nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer 70% or higher, level 2 rating or greater AAMI gowns, and level 2 rating or higher ear loop masks.

Those with donations are asked to call (705) 220-0868 or email mmclean@smhosp.on.ca and include pictures of product if possible.

“Even it seems like something small, everything helps,” McLean stressed.

“Having masks or having gloves, or any of it,” she added. “It may seem like simple supplies that would be easy to get, but at this time it all makes a difference.”



         


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