Gateway Community College Donates Safety Supplies To Help Protect Area Medical Professionals

Friday, April 3, 2020

Gateway Community College has donated more than 8,000 pieces of personal protection equipment (PPE), 1,600 disinfectant wipes and six ear thermoscans with chargers to three Connecticut health-care facilities.

The safety supplies and equipment were donated to Yale New Haven Hospital, the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Connecticut Hospice to help protect medical professionals who are working with COVID-19 patients. All donated items were originally the property of Gateway’s division of Allied Health and Nursing. 

The college, which is closed to the public for the rest of the semester, is delivering all classes online, thereby making it possible to donate the supplies that would have been used if the students were on campus. Gateway’s Allied Health and Nursing program includes about 200 nursing students and more than 150 students in the allied health-care programs, which include Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Exercise Science and Wellness, Nuclear Medicine, Nutrition and Dietetics, Radiation Therapy, Radiography, and Surgical Technology, according to Sheila B. Solernou, division director, Allied Health and Nursing. 

The donations were delivered to the health-care facilities on March 25. Yale New Haven Hospital received 60 N95 masks – masks that must be fitted to the wearer’s face and can block at least 95 percent of very small respiratory particles – 50 procedure masks, 50 face masks with plastic shields, 239 disposable and surgical gowns, 5,300 nitrile – latex-free gloves that can be reused multiple times and vinyl gloves, 100 shoe covers, and 640 germicidal wipes.

Connecticut Hospice received 60 N95 masks, 85 procedure masks, 61 face masks with plastic shields, 15 disposable gowns, 2,400 nitrile and vinyl gloves, about 50 shoe covers and six ear thermoscans with chargers. The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center received 960 germicidal wipes.

Connecticut Hospice approached Gateway with a request for PPEs while Yale New Haven Hospital sent out an email requesting safety supplies from its community partners, Solernou said.

Connecticut Children’s Hospital became one of the three health-care institutions to receive safety supplies and equipment from Gateway when a colleague at the hospital contacted Cara Case, the coordinator of Gateway’s Medical Sonography Program, asking for germicidal wipes because the hospital’s supply was running low, she said. Gateway’s donations were part of a coordinated state-wide effort organized by the Council of Deans and Directors for the Connecticut League for Nursing, Solernou noted.

“The request from organizations throughout the state for PPEs was discussed among members of the group, and the donations were coordinated by the group to ensure that we met our community partner needs and requests, and that we reached as many organizations as possible,” she said.  

“Community Colleges throughout the state are looking at their supplies of personal protective equipment to create donations to local hospitals,” said Dr. Thomas G. Coley, acting president, Gateway Community College and regional president, CSCU Shoreline-West. "We are committed to the safety to our healthcare workers and to doing our part."

Having exhausted its PPE inventory, Gateway urges others who are able to donate protective equipment and supplies at this time to make a donation as well.