Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center is calling on volunteers and donations of personal protective equipment as it continues the battle against COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel Coronavirus.
“We are seeking donations of protective gear for medical workers. Specifically the items that we are seeking are N-95 masks, surgical masks, surgical or isolation gowns, gloves (boxes only, unopened), hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial soap, disinfectant spray and wipes, face shields and safety goggles,” said L-DRMC CEO Matt Thornton.
The hospital is open to the donation of homemade masks but these will only be used in the event that there are no more medical grade masks available. The hospital more than a couple of days of supplies on hand at this time, but since these items are in high demand all over the world, getting them restocked has become an issue.
“We have been trying to order for weeks and have been unable to source these items through any medical vendor or other vendor that we could identify,” said Thornton. “We have requests in with state organizations who acquire this at the state level, but there are no guarantees of what or when any of it will be delivered.”
While the hospital currently has these items in stock, Thornton is concerned that the hospital could run dangerously low before being able to replenish them from vendors or state organizations.
“Any excess donated items that we may receive, as well as any excess items that we may procure through vendors, will be shared as needed with other medical facilities and first responder organizations in Liberty County,” Thornton said.
Anyone who has items to donate is asked to call the hospital at 936-336-7316, ext. 149. Drop-off donations can also be made through the Travis Street entrance to the hospital in Liberty, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The hospital is also compiling a volunteer database in the event that staff shortages becomes an issue.
“We do not have any specific need for volunteers at this time. However, we would like to be well-prepared in the event that we see a sharp rise in cases or staffing becomes significantly strained,” Thornton said.
The hospital is looking for healthcare workers who may be interested in volunteering, such as RNs, LVNs, PAs, NPs, physicians, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, lab techs, phlebotomists, radio techs and other experienced support staff.
“It is important that we not take away any providers who are continuing to care for patients. This may be a great opportunity for college students who may be home right now, as well as retired or furloughed healthcare workers,” he said.
Anyone who is interested should call Jordan Skinner at 936-336-7316, ext. 149. Volunteer candidates will need to provide their name, date of birth, address, email address and phone number, which will allow the hospital to begin the credentialing process and verification of license statuses.
“It is important to keep reminding everyone to support one another and take care of their mental, physical and spiritual health. This pandemic response will be more of a marathon than a sprint,” Thornton said. “Please keep encouraging and positive thoughts flowing for all, but especially healthcare workers in all capacities.”