A community health crisis requiring a community response: the college donates all its PPE

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Torrey Stenmark wears her own personal safety gear while collecting N95 masks from across campus

Shoreline Community College donates over 30,000 supplies to local healthcare providers

Staff and faculty at Shoreline Community College banded together to provide two separate donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Washington state.

Faculty members Kira Wennstrom (biology) and Torrey Stenmark (chemistry) knew that in 2019 the College’s Safety and Security department had distributed to staff emergency kits that contained packaged N95 masks. 

Wennstrom and Stenmark organized a campus-wide effort to retrieve N95 masks from those kits and, despite campus operating remotely due to COVID-19, were able to collect 60 of the badly needed masks for donation.

“It was a video game-like hunt,” said Stenmark. “People emailed me instructions on where to locate the masks in their offices and Edwin Lucero, Director of Safety and Security, and I went office to office finding the kits and retrieving the masks for donation.”

Safety and Security donated an additional 250 masks from their supply for a total donation of 310 N95 masks. The staff and faculty donation went to Seattle Mask Brigade.

“The donation was a way to help our campus community feel like they are taking positive action and to contribute to local healthcare needs,” said Stenmark.

“We were happy to know we could help in this time of crisis,” said Lucero. “Medical professionals are putting their own health at risk for the good of the community. This was the least we could do to support them.”

Other College departments followed suit. 

Shoreline’s Dental Hygiene and Nursing Programs donated 2,000 surgical masks and 18,000 surgical gloves. 

The Sciences department donated 35 goggles, 25 face shields, 600 protective arm sleeves, 9,000 shoe covers, and 1,700 gloves. These donations went to the City of Shoreline’s frontline emergency teams.

“Being in a profession where the risk of exposure to many diseases is high, it was particularly important to us to be able to donate PPEs and to make sure that those who are in need of this protection get it right now,” said Rosie Bellert, Director of the Dental Hygiene Program at Shoreline. 
“This is a community health crisis requiring a community response.”

--Shoreline Community College


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