OTTUMWA — Future nurses train with much the same equipment hospitals use, and that allowed Indian Hills Community College to help out with a shortage in southeast Iowa.
The Health Sciences Division donated hundreds of boxes of gloves, surgical/isolation gowns and face masks, all items that are facing severe shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and first responders nationwide have complained about a lack of those materials, which are crucial in helping keep people who have contact with patients safe.
Joshua Hemminger, the director for emergency medical services at Indian Hills, said the school received a request for any spare materials, and the school was able to respond.
“The biggest need they told us they had,” said Hemminger, “was for personal protective equipment (PPE). Within two days we collected 129 boxes of gloves, 330 surgical/isolation gowns, 195 surgical/procedure face masks, and various other items.”
The supplies came from multiple departments, including some you might not expect. Along with the school’s medical programs, the occupational therapy and aviation maintenance programs had some supplies that fit the need.
“We passed along the items to Tim Richmond, Wapello County Emergency Management coordinator, who will then reach out to other counties in our area to share the wealth and distribute the donations,” said Hemminger.
Indian Hills has also played a role in the program organized to give Wapello County children meals while they are out of school. The culinary arts program supplied cookies and brownies to ensure the meals had a treat for the children.