DOTHAN, Ala. (PR) -- Across the country, hospitals and clinics brace for the emerging COVID-19 crisis by searching for additional staff, facility space, and the necessary equipment to prevent the spread of the virus.
When the COVID-19 crisis became local, it was time for Wallace Community College-Dothan (WCCD) to give back to local healthcare partners.
The most searched-for items are Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which creates a barrier between the sick and their caregivers. Gloves, isolation masks, and gowns are the most often requested PPE’s. As it happened, WCCD had these items in their inventory for faculty and students in clinical labs, and the decision was made to donate the items to help block the spread of the virus.
On Friday, March 27, Southeast Health picked up their donated PPE equipment, including gloves, isolation masks, and gowns, from the College. Flowers Hospital picked up their portion the following Monday. Medical Center Barbour and Dale Medical Center are scheduled to receive equipment in a few days.
“Southeast Health has enjoyed a long relationship with Wallace College and its nursing students,” said Melissa Owens, chief nursing officer at Southeast Health. “We are grateful to continue that relationship with the College’s recent donation of much needed PPE.”
“The demand for PPE is great nationwide as hospitals safely treat COVID-19 (coronavirus) patients,” she said. “Thanks to the generous donation by Wallace College, we are able to continue protecting our patients and staff from COVID-19.”
WCCD’s partnership with area healthcare providers is integral to the creation of a well-trained workforce. “Our Health Sciences programs prepare graduates to enter the workforce in our local community,” said Kathy Buntin, associate dean of health sciences. “The majority of those working in our area’s healthcare facilities are graduates of Wallace Community College. This is a great opportunity for us to show our support for the professions they represent.”
Local hospitals and clinics collaborate with the College, providing jobs, clinical opportunities, and participation in advisory boards -- a crucial component to match skills with employer needs.
“Being able to assist area facilities in this manner gives us an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Linda Young, president of Wallace Community. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the employees, many of whom are WCC graduates, for all they are doing during this unprecedented time. We are grateful for their tireless efforts.”
The initiative to “give back local” was statewide to include all institutions in the Alabama Community College System, including Wallace.