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Contact: Debra Dennis214-536-7468;
For immediate release — April 1, 2020
(DALLAS) — When the call was sounded for more emergency supplies and equipment to fight COVID-19, nursing, radiology, EMS, and other health occupation staff; along with economic development leaders at Dallas County Community College District not only heard it, but quickly responded.
Recognizing there would be a steep increase in patients in local intensive care units (ICUs) in April, district programs have loaned nine ventilators to Dallas County, which, by county estimates, could save up to 12 lives during the pandemic.
At Brookhaven College, employees in the school's emergency medical services, radiology and nursing program collected and packed supplies and drove the items to area recipients including fire departments. Emergency medical services and radiology personnel delivered critical medical supplies to City Hospital Emergency Care in Fort Worth, Irving Fire/EMS, Grand Prairie Fire/EMS and Bedford Fire/EMS.
"In the grand scheme of things, in terms of the community, the need is now - not later," said Alex Stadthagen, the Associate Dean of Health Occupations and Emergency Medical Services/Health and Human Services at Brookhaven. "We were concerned about not having enough PPE for our own programs at a later date, but when we looked at our supply, we quickly determined it had to be shared with the emergency medicine community," said Stadthagen, who personally delivered some of the supplies with his team.
“We are fortunate to count on the support of local partners like DCCCD,” said Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite. “Their generous donation helps keep our paramedics protected as we continue focusing on our COVID-19 response efforts and commitment to serve and protect our community.”
Brookhaven donated nursing supplies to the Veteran Administration Texas health care system and several fire departments, but material goods are not the only contribution: Recent Brookhaven nursing graduate Anna Wenthold has made the difficult and brave decision to head to Belleville, N.J., to work in a COVID-19 ICU, taking a 13-week contract to help with the relief.
Eastfield made a donation of 3,000 gloves to the Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite and Mountain View donated personal protective equipment in the form of N95 masks, sterile and nonsterile gloves, germicidal disposable wipes and hand sanitizer to Parkland. Parkland respiratory therapist Jason Allen, the husband of Mountain View faculty member Emilie Allen, delivered the medical supply donation to Parkland.
El Centro has donated five cases of hospital gowns.
And in a unique effort demonstrating the ingenuity of DCCCD students and faculty, the district is using 3D printers to create face shields for UT Southwestern Medical Center — a move that could provide much-needed safety to workers like Wenthold who are on the front lines of infection.
The initial run of 40 face shields was delivered a week ago, and a second batch is being developed, said Mark Hays, the district’s vice chancellor of workforce and economic development. The face shields are being made at the Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development in collaboration with Southern Methodist University.
“We can make a serious dent in the shortages of some personal protective equipment (PPEs),” Hays said.
As the coronavirus spreads, so are reports of unfavorable conditions for overworked medical personnel. To counter that, instructors in DCCCD’s nursing programs are continuing to collect and box up masks, sanitizers, gloves, stethoscopes, gowns and germicidal wipes for Parkland Memorial.
“There’s something about nurses that, regardless of the situation or the role we are in, our need to care for others and our fellow nurses is always at the forefront,” said instructor Emilie Allen, who worked for Parkland before joining Mountain View College. “Nurses deserve to be protected so that they can continue to provide the quality care they are most famous for,” Allen said.
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