Ohio’s 23 community colleges have donated more than 200,000 medical face masks and pairs of gloves to hospitals and local first responders across the state, according to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. Twenty-five much-needed medical ventilators are among the colleges’ donations.
“Our campuses have answered Gov. DeWine’s call to provide PPE equipment and other critically needed medical supplies to those on the frontlines,” said Jack Hershey, President and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. “Many of these medical workers and first-responders have been educated on our campuses, so it is doubly gratifying that our colleges are able to support these graduates and their colleagues in this way.”
About 800 N95 masks, 1,150 breathing masks, 12,000 other masks and 223,000 pairs of regular and sterile gloves were donated, Hershey said.
The colleges, which are currently registering students for summer courses, are closed right now to in-classroom instruction. They have the equipment because they offer certificates and degrees in numerous health care programs, including nursing, EMT, laboratory technicians, and respiratory care.
Colleges also donated other health care items, including thermometers, lab coats and shoe and hair covers. Some have offered their parking lots for drive-up testing as well as the use of other campus facilities, if needed.
“In addition to donating equipment and supplies, the colleges are providing support of other kinds to their students, faculty and members of the community, including mental health support, food pantries and helping to successfully navigate remote learning environments,” Hershey said. “Many have already offered use of their facilities and video-conferencing capabilities. A number of colleges of our colleges are using their webpages to provide community resources information, and many will be offering emergency funding assistance to students as needed. These efforts are an excellent extension of the close relationship our colleges have with their local communities.”
The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions, working to advance our community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development. For more information, please visit www.OhioCommunityColleges.Org