ISSUED: 25 March 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s School of Nursing donated some much-needed medical equipment on March 23 to WVU Medicine East to help protect medical personnel on the front lines dealing with the COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Sharon Mailey, director, School of Nursing, said the donation included boxes of N95 and other masks, isolation gowns, several dozen boxes of various size gloves, full isolation suits, protective eye goggles, face shields, and masks, and other items that can be used in case there’s a surge of COVID-19 cases
“We took out supplies that we thought might be of significant use to deal with COVID-19 pandemic,” Mailey said. “The supply chain for these particular items is stressed because of demand right now and the need is really exceeding available supplies.”
“WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center greatly appreciates receiving these PPE supplies from Shepherd University’s nursing school during this time of need,” said Samantha Richards, vice president/chief nursing officer.
Mailey said this pandemic has surprised the world globally and this type of equipment has not been stockpiled for this type of event, so there is and will continue to be a shortage. Mailey serves on the board of the Association of Deans and Directors of Nursing Education in West Virginia, which has asked schools to donate supplies from their simulation labs to hospitals in their area.
“We are partners with Berkeley Medical Center, giving the very best care we can to area patients, and this is a supportive measure that was very much needed,” Mailey said. “There is an urgent need, and Berkeley Medical Center is the local hospital in our region, so we wanted to support our local community and local residents.”
Mailey said the School of Nursing decided to donate the equipment after suspending in-person clinicals. They will now be part of the virtual learning that is taking place because of the pandemic, which she points out provides some valuable lessons to the nursing students.
“We have never experienced a pandemic before in our lifetime,” Mailey said. “Ebola was an outbreak in 2014-2016, but nothing like this has happened on a global scale. It’s a giant lesson in epidemiology in terms of how organisms are spread and how rapidly it can occur. We’re in uncharted waters because we don’t have sufficient evidence of how this virus will manifest itself and we don’t know how it will mutate.”
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