Chester County Hospital receiving community support – and donated supplies04/07/2020 05:52PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
In response to the worldwide request by hospitals and medical centers to obtain critically-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current coronavirus outbreak, one local hospital has become the beneficiary of immediate and generous support.
Chester County Hospital – a member of Penn Medicine – has received overwhelming responses from the community to two new initiatives: the Chester County Hospital Emergency Response Fund and its Supply Donation Center.
Both the fund and the center sprang out of the hospitals’ effort to respond to the increasing number of phone calls and inquiries it received from the community, who had seen or heard reports that hospitals were in short supply of PPE items as the COVID-19 pandemic reached critical levels, particularly in the commonwealth, and each is tailored specifically to the means by which the donor wants to contribute to the hospital.
Nearly from the time word of the virus reverberated around the world, offers from the local community pored in. Some offered hand sanitizer, wet-wipes and unused bleach, and one business sent the hospital an offer to donate N-95 masks. The outreach convinced hospital administrators and staff that a donation center was needed.
“I think this is wonderful given the financial hardship most people are experiencing right now because of the economic conditions brought on by the pandemic,” said Kevin R. O’Brien, the hospital’s senior vice president for development. “We recognize that many of our supporters are facing economic uncertainty at this time and are uncomfortable donating money, but have supplies at home that they are not in great need of at this time, and being able to donate those items allows them to support the hospital in a meaningful way.”
The support doesn’t end with supplies. Community members have joined with area restaurants in donating meals to hospital staff, as well as donating money to cover the cost of coffee, tea and hot cocoa.
At the same time the hospital’s Supply Donation Center is gaining attention, the Chester County Hospital Emergency Response Fund has already collected $53,000 from 106 donors, as of last week.
“On the first day of announcing the Emergency Response Fund, we received approximately $12,500 from 33 individuals, and one donor made a gift of $5,000,” O’Brien said. “By the end of the first week,we had 69 gifts totaling $48,000, which included a gift of $25,000 from Dansko, Inc., as well as a donation from Dansko, Inc. of 400 pairs of shoes for our health care workers.
“Other people didn’t have supplies to donate and were more comfortable donating cash, so for those individuals, we created the Emergency Response Fund to collect money to provide the hospital with cash resources to help address needs the hospital faces in these unprecedented circumstances.
"The response from the community to help the hospital has been phenomenal in this crisis, but it is just another chapter in a long history of our community supporting The Chester County Hospital since its founding in 1892.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].
Lend your community support.
Chester County Hospital’s Supply Donation Center is open from 9 a.m. -5 p.m.daily, until further notice, and is located the hospital’s parking garage on 701 E. Marshall Street, in West Chester. The center is accepting the following items: Masks, face protection, paper ear loop or tie in original carton; gloves, non-latex, all sizes in original carton; wipes, bleach, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide; bottles of bleach -not splashless; hand sanitizers;disposable bouffant head covers with elastic band; disposable shoe covers; eye protection, including face shields; safety goggles; disposable water resistant cover gowns in their original carton; and powered air-purifying respirators.
At this time, Chester County Hospital is not accepting home-sewn reusable masks or 3-D printed ventilator parts.
Guests are asked to remain in their vehicle, and follow the instructions of the donation center team.
To make a contribution to the Chester County Hospital Emergency Response Fund, visit www.ChesterCountyHospital.org/giving/ways-to-give/make-a-gift-now.For questions, please call the Chester County Hospital Foundation Office at 610-431-5608.