Colleges have been essential to Montana for years, as it is these institutions that have trained nearly all of their nursing professionals and first responders. Now it is these professionals that are stepping up to help fight a global pandemic that has reached the healthcare systems of Montana. The colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Montana have proven how essential they are to their local communities and society at large. They have gathered personal protective equipment from around their campuses and programs to donate to healthcare systems that need it most at this time. They have utilized 3-D printers to manufacture PPE and they have continued to educate and prepare the next generation of first responders and medical staff.
Montana Technological University
As the global pandemic has depleted resources around the world, Montana Tech helped out its community by donating supplies to their local hospital, St. James Healthcare. They gathered and donated personal protective equipment including gloves, masks, isolation gowns, and more. The college also loaned hospital beds, IV pumps, blood pressure machines, and an ECG machine. Faculty and students have also produced masks and shields to help with the shortage.
Montana Tech’s Highlands College also joined the effort to protect healthcare workers by gathering personal protective equipment from around campus to donate to St. James Healthcare. Faculty and staff gathered gloves, isolation gowns, and masks that are usually used for instructional purposes in labs to donate to the community.
Great Falls College
As Faculty at Great Falls College saw the need for PPE and they were given access to a file for 3-D printing face masks and shields they immediately went to work. With 3-D printers on campus that are used for students in their engineering department, they mobilized a team to begin manufacturing masks. These masks are reusable and allow for a filter to be replaced regularly.
Montana State University
Montana State University houses the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center that has stepped up to develop PPE for healthcare workers in Montana.
With the donation of $10,000 form Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, they have quickly researched and developed PPE for frontline workers. They have manufactured plastic injected molded face masks and cloth face masks for healthcare workers. They have teamed up with many other manufacturing companies that have diverted their production to making PPE for the state of Montana.
As many 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 Montana 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.
Do you know of any other amazing college responses to COVID-19? Let us know so we can recognize them and add them to our list!