U of I Medical Education Students Organize Equipment Drive to Fight COVID-19
April 08, 2020
MOSCOW, Idaho — April 8, 2020 —University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program students are holding a personal protective equipment (PPE) supply drive to support health care workers on the Palouse in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The drive is supported by the North Idaho Area Health Education Center (AHEC), part of a national system designed to respond to local health needs and link academic training programs with community-based outreach. The effort started on Tuesday and will continue indefinitely.
“North Idaho AHEC helps foster connections between the University of Idaho, its health professions students and Idaho’s 10 northernmost counties,” said Liz Bryant, North Idaho AHEC director. “WWAMI students are highly driven, compassionate individuals with a strong emotional connection to the realities that health care workers currently face. We wanted to help them actualize their goals safely and in accordance with state and city orders.”
Emma Ryan, a first-year WWAMI medical student from Boise, is among eight students involved. She wants to help first responders and health care workers source PPE in the Moscow/Pullman area.
“My classmates and I want to do everything we can to help keep health care workers safe,” she said. “Nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians and other providers are risking their health to treat this illness. We want to ensure they have the basic equipment to protect themselves, their families and the community at large.”
In addition to organizing the PPE drive, the students are soliciting PPE donations from more than 100 local health care organizations that are not currently active, as well as construction companies and local hobbyists who may have supplies on hand.
Donors should fill out a short survey at uidaho.edu/ppe-drive, which helps students track donations and facilitate item drop-off or pick-up. Desired PPE materials include:
- disinfectant sprays or wipes;
- respirator masks (N95, N99, P100 – homemade masks are not accepted);
- non-sterile gloves;
- clear face shields;
- surgical masks (no cloth);
- sterile gloves;
- powered air purifying respirators;
- disposable gowns; and
- hand sanitizer.
Bryant’s hope for the PPE supply drive is to show support to local health care workers.
“Not only do they desperately need the personal protective equipment, they need reminders that they are not in this alone; that they have a whole community rallying behind them,” Bryant said.
Director, North Idaho Area Health Education Center
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu