As the supply shortage for personal protective equipment has ensued as hospitals around the globe are fighting the COVID 19 pandemic both Universities and Community Colleges stand ready to donate and help as the need arises. Where most of Utah’s nursing professionals and first responders received their education and training at one of the local community colleges they stand ready to give back to their communities and protect their alumni. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Utah have been essential to protecting frontline healthcare workers and their local communities.
Here are Colleges’ Responses to COVID 19 in Utah
As a college that graduates over 1000 nurses per year, Provo College knows how important it is to protect those working on the front lines during this global pandemic that has made its way to Utah. Wanting to answer the call to donate necessary personal protective equipment they chose to gather a variety of supplies to donate to local healthcare facilities. The Provo campus donated to Utah Valley Regional Hospital, the Layton campus donated to Davis County Hospital. Items that were donated included N95 face masks, goggles, gloves, hand sanitizer, shoe covers, isolation gowns, and much more. While students are no longer attending class on campus now was the time for them to step up and donate these items that would have been used in lab simulation instruction but now will not be needed until students return to campus.
University of Utah
Students of the School of Medicine at the University of Utah have organized personal protective equipment supply drives to help aid frontline workers, to ensure they have the protection they need to treat patients during this time. They have asked residents to donate N95 masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfectant wipes. They held 4 separate drives that gathered much needed PPE for hospitals treating patients of COVID 19. The University of Utah libraries have also been busy 3-D printing face shields to donate to healthcare workers. Faculty and students have worked together using 30 3-D printers that are capable of manufacturing up to 300 face shields per day. They have also utilized the printers to make medical-grade masks.
Ogden-Weber Technical College
Ogden-Weber Technical College has had a long-standing relationship with Midtown Community Healthcare Center through their public health programs.
Now, during the time of a global pandemic and a global supply shortage, these relationships have made all the difference in institutions for higher learning donating their PPE to these local healthcare facilities. OWTC has donated gloves, masks, isolation gowns, safety glasses, disinfectant wipes, and face shields. These items have allowed Midtown to continue serving the underserved and vulnerable populations.
Utah Valley University
As courses have moved to an online delivery method for spring and summer terms, Utah Valley University has chosen to lend 5 ventilators to Utah Valley Hospital for use during the pandemic. These machines are typically used for training purposes in their nursing and respiratory therapy programs. The ventilators are identical to the ones currently used in the Intensive Care Unit. UVU has also joined the effort to manufacture medical grade face masks utilizing their 3-D printers. These masks have been donated o first responders and frontline healthcare workers to protect them during this time.
Weber State College
During this time of uncertainty and supply shortages, Weber State College has chosen to step up and donate personal protective equipment to local healthcare facilities. Items donated included gowns, N95 masks, gloves, headcovers, and sanitizer. With courses moved to an online delivery method the school of nursing is no longer using the PPE for instructional purposes or the ventilators. They are loaning the ventilators to McKay-Dee Hospital to use during this time with an influx of COVID patients. Students and faculty have also joined in the effort to sew medical-grade masks for frontline workers and people of the community. The effort is to “Sew Your Colors.” Weber State College is trying to help meet the needs of the community through whatever means they have available.
Utah State University
The extension 4-H program of Utah State University has been an excellent outlet to teach youth how to get involved and use their skills to serve the community. Youth have utilized the 3-D printers to make face shields to donate to the healthcare community. They have produced over 900 face shields. Faculty worked directly with 4-H neighborhood club families to manufacture and assemble them.
Colleges that have participated in the “Sew Your Colors” initiative have joined together to sew medical-grade masks for the medical community. The goal was to sew 5 million masks. Volunteers ordered mask kits to sew and then returned them to the colleges where the college mascots gathered them. Colleges that participated are listed below: Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Western Governors University, LDS Business College, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Westminster College, Bridgerland Technical College, Davis Technical College, Dixie Technical College, Mountainland Technical College, Ogden-Weber Technical College, Southwest Technical College, Tooele Technical College and Uintah Basin Technical College.
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 Utah 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 community colleges in Utah that have made an impact on COVID 19.