As the world continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, there is no doubt people’s lives, and everyday roles, have changed.
At Indiana University, classes have been moved online and many faculty, including researchers who run on-campus labs, have temporarily halted their lab work to keep everyone safe during this tumultuous time.
But instead of dwelling on the fact that their research is temporarily paused, some IU faculty and students have turned the opportunity into a way to help others by donating essential supplies to a local hospital system. The university recently donated 100,000 personal protective masks to IU Health [healthcare system in Indiana]. Other departments and labs are stepping up as well.
“It’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like for healthcare providers right now, given the personal protective equipment shortages and the alarming increase in cases of COVID-19,” said Caroline Chick Jarrold, chair of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. “We all just want to do everything we can to support and help.”
Like many hospital systems throughout the world, IU Health has been trying to keep patients and employees safe while facing a shortage of personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and goggles.
In mid-March, Rob Bogdon, director of supply chain operation for IU Health, reached out to some leaders at IU asking about the possibility of obtaining protective goggles from the university.
Jarrold joined forces with Jonathan Karty, senior scientist and assistant chair for administration in the Department of Chemistry, and Greg Demas, Department of Biology chair, to round up some goggles. Word quickly spread and with the help of faculty in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the group has been able to provide IU Health with some 200 goggles, 600 masks and some 30 packs of gloves.