Georgia Southwestern State University Donates over 5,000 Pieces of Critical PPE to Local Hospital and Mental Healthcare Institution

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Georgia Southwestern State University's College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Department of Public Safety recently donated much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center (PSMC) and Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare (MFBHC). There's been a nationwide shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, and GSW has been supporting local partners from the start.

The University System of Georgia (USG), in partnership with Governor Brian P. Kemp and Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA), requested the state's public universities and colleges to redirect any spare PPE, and other critical medical supplies, to healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 across the state.

GSW's public safety and nursing staff coordinated efforts to inventory and collect their supplies, which are typically used for everything from research and campus maintenance to nursing programs and on-campus health clinics. Before the supplies list made it to the USG, Phoebe Sumter and Middle Flint had already reached out for assistance.

"The hundreds of staff employed at Middle Flint have never faced a crisis such as this," said Beth Ragan, CEO of MFBHC. "Our protective equipment supplies were severely limited so we reached out to various agencies and businesses for assistance. GSW responded quickly and worked diligently to help secure PPE, which was quickly put to use and most certainly helped to reduce the growing virus risk. We are so grateful to GSW for going way beyond what was originally asked to help us meet the needs of so many in this community."

GSW Public Safety Director Mike Tracy said he didn't think twice when the call came for needed PPE. "It makes us proud when we can give back to our community, especially to care of our healthcare heroes who quietly stay on the front lines and go about saving lives every day."

Between the two entities, GSW was able to donate 4,000 gloves, 900 surgical face masks, 600 shoe covers, 600 hair covers, 300 polyethylene gowns, 75 surgical gowns and 75 N95 masks.

"Before the USG put the call out, we received a call from our friends and partners at Phoebe Sumter who asked if we had anything to spare," said Sandra Daniel, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. "A shortage of such equipment puts not only healthcare workers at risk, but also those for whom they are caring. Their need was much greater than ours at the moment, so we were more than happy to help."

Governor Kemp has applauded USG's efforts for taking action to keep the healthcare workforce and communities safe.