Departments in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences are emptying supply closets and donating personal protective equipment to VCU Health in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The Department of Forensic Science is one of several college units to donate supplies, sending surgical gowns, gloves and N95 masks to VCU Health.
“These items were donated from our research labs and surplus supplies from our teaching labs. The department's teaching mission is heavily laboratory-based and we are, quite simply, devastated by this crisis. But the bright lining has been this donation,” said Tracey Dawson Cruz, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Forensic Science. “Everyone seems, even if momentarily, uplifted by the idea of helping our colleagues on the MCV campus respond to those that are most vulnerable.
“Just discussing this donation visibly lifted spirits and brought smiles to the faces of our students, faculty, staff and alumni alike.”
Several departments pitching in
Along with the Department of Forensic Science, the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry and the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products in the Department of Psychology donated supplies to the hospital. Besides gowns, gloves and masks, there were donations of disinfectants and lab coats. Michael Morris, stockroom manager for the Department of Chemistry, dropped off 1,500 gloves to the hospital.
“They seemed super appreciative and very happy that we were donating from within VCU and supporting each other during this time,” he said.
The School of Pharmacy gave 1,450 face masks, more than 23,000 pairs of gloves, 557 gowns and 1,200 shoe covers, among other donations.
The Center for Human Simulation & Patient Safety in the School of Medicine donated about 1,800 face masks, more than 15,000 gloves, 364 paper gowns and about 300 shoe covers.
Contributions were also provided by the School of Dentistry, including 500 gowns and 150 boxes of gloves, and the College of Health Professions.
The hospital, and its association with the medical campus, is an important part of the identity of VCU, and especially so for the College of Humanities and Sciences, said Don Young, Ph.D., interim dean of the college.
“Our college shares many students with the medical campus and many of our students have careers influenced by training, outreach and volunteer hours at the hospital,” Young said. “Our faculty, staff and students have numerous friends and family members that work on the medical campus and in the hospital. And over the years, we have shared discoveries and innovations, celebrated births and aided in cures for illnesses. That's why we help in every way that we can — we are OneVCU.”
You can help
VCU Health continues to accept donations of personal protective equipment and is calling on organizations and businesses for items such as surgical masks, N95 masks, face shields, disposable gowns, latex-free gloves, goggles, shoe covers, head covers and germicide wipes.
Bring your donations here
Bring your donations to the valet entrance of the VCU Medical Center Gateway Building, 1200 E. Marshall St. between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m., Monday through Friday. Valet personnel will assist you with your donations.
For more information on donating personal protective equipment (PPE), please call (804) 628-0400.