Central Methodist University donates $2,000 worth of protective gear

2 months 1 day 18 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:04:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
By: Michael Van Schoik, KOMU 8 Reporter

FAYETTE - Central Methodist University took steps to help rural Missouri medical professionals in the midst of COVID-19 by donating $2,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The University's nursing program donated the equipment to Hometown Homecare, a home health, hospice and private care service that serves people in Howard, Cooper, and Sheridan counties. 

Hometown Homecare CEO Serese Wiehart said the donations have been a huge help during a time that has been difficult for medical professionals to get their hands on essential equipment. She said she immediately thanked Megan Hess, CMU's chair of the division of health. 

"You've given us the gift of life," Weihart said. "Because that is literally what it is. Each of my coworkers and myself are literally risking our lives to care for people with the COVID virus."

“The SIM lab activity is over for the semester,” Hess said in a statement. “And all nursing supplies have an expiration date. So why not get the PPE in the hands of people who can benefit from it? It takes a family working together to get out of this.”

Weihart said she has regularly ordered protective equipment, but after a few attempted orders, nothing came. 

"I was panicking a bit because it is so hard to find supplies," she said. 

Weihart said healthcare providers are required to practice for disasters, but even after doing that for years, she said she was worried small town organizations like hers would be out of luck.

"This gift has been a tremendous blessing to us," she said. 

There are currently no confirmed cases in Howard County, but there are cases in neighboring Cooper and Sheridan counties. But Weihart said it is likely only a matter of time. 

She said University Hospital in Columbia called all area hospices to see if they would serve COVID-19 patients. Weihart said she and her nurses met and discussed the matter, and accepted.

"We took a vow to serve when we became medical professionals," she said. "More than that, we love the people in our community."

In the meantime, Weihart said she and her team are waiting for the moment hospitals will call on them for extra service. 

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