Most of the first responders were trained and educated at one of the local colleges, they have been essential institutions throughout the history of America but have proven again how essential they are during the time a crisis. It is these same institutions that have donated time, materials, and financially to their communities. From faculty to students everyone has stepped up to help fight during this global crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has caused international shortages of critical personal protective equipment. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Oklahoma have helped meet these needs by donating gloves, masks, face shields, and other necessary supplies to help keep health care professionals, patients, and families safe during these unprecedented times.
Here are the Colleges’ Responses to COVID 19 in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Community College
As institutions for higher learning have had to close their campuses to in-person learning, labs and nursing simulations have been postponed leaving a lot of unused PPE available for donation.
Oklahoma City Community College has chosen to gather and donate the PPE that would have been used on campus during his time to local healthcare agencies. They donated 3,200 isolation gowns, 40 single-use stethoscopes, 54 clear safety glasses, and 51 boxes of critically-needed procedure masks — totaling 97,825 masks. Though the campus is closed the food pantry remains open for student use. OCCC has also organized a donation to gather diapers, formula, baby food and baby clothes to help students that have young children. With classes being moved to a remote online format, many students struggled to gain access to reliable high-speed internet. Oklahoma City Community College made select parking lots upgraded with WiFi for students to be able to access their courses with reliable high-speed internet at no cost.
Oklahoma State University
Faculty at Oklahoma State University wanted to help in the cause of protecting healthcare workers and their families in the face of supply shortages, they chose to organize a PPE drive across campus. With campus closed and courses moved online most of the PPE used in labs was no longer being used. They gathered N95 masks, isolation gowns, face shields, and gloves.
Everything was donated in an effort to help protect those on the frontlines.
Tulsa Community College
As the need for personal protective equipment grew with the spread of COVID 19, Tulsa Community College stepped up to help supply local healthcare agencies with what PPE they could offer. They gathered gloves, isolation gowns, and masks and donated them to those who needed it most at this time. Faculty and students of the theater department have turned their costume sewing skills into serving the public. They have been sewing masks instead of costumes during the pandemic. They have sewn over 150 masks to donate. With classes being moved to a remote online format, many students struggled to gain access to reliable high-speed internet. Tulsa Community College made select parking lots upgraded with WiFi for students to be able to access their courses with reliable high-speed internet at no cost.
Rose State College
Faculty at Rose State College has turned to technology to help alleviate the personal protective equipment supply shortage. They have utilized their 3-D printers on campus to manufacture face shields to donate to Alliance Health Midwest Hospital. The Environmental Training Program has gathered the PPE from their program to donate to the City of Midwest City. This donation included masks, gloves, and face shields. A local hospital, AllianceHealth Durant had a serious shortage of ventilators, and all were in use when Rose State offered to loan 3 of their ventilators to the facility.
Moore Norman Technology Center
As demand for PPE increased with the spread of COVID 19 supply became scarce and few vendors had what local h=medical facilities needed. The full-time health careers program at Moore Norman Technology Center chose to step in and gather and donate much needed PPE to the metro area healthcare facilities to alleviate this shortage. Items donated were masks, fluid resistant masks, N95 masks, surgical gowns, isolation gowns, and face shields. The clinical partnerships the MNTC has had with Norman Regional Health System and Integris Southwest Medical Center have benefited the college and students and they felt this was their opportunity to give back.
As many community colleges have come together to gather and donate much needed personal protective equipment to help healthcare workers, others have donated financial resources to students, all have sacrificed for their communities. The colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Oklahoma have proven that people come together and step up during a time of need. Though there has been a lot of loss, struggle, anxiety, and stress during this time, humanity has shown that there is empathy, caring, and hope.
Please contact us if you have any other colleges in Oklahoma that have made an impact on COVID 19.