Health partnership to distribute personal protective equipment

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The Salt Spring Community Health Society and the Salt Spring Chapter – Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice have announced joint funding by the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation and Salt Spring Island Foundation to manufacture and distribute re-usable face shields and isolation gowns as well as alcohol sanitizer to on-island physicians and health care workers, first responders and other highly exposed community workers.

“This is an exciting example of how four local organizations can partner to work in the best interests of the community, and is the culmination of many, many hours spent by highly skilled and creative professionals and volunteers to leverage the considerable open-source and maker movement,” said SSCHS president Jennifer Williams.

The equipment will protect physicians in their community practices, their staff, as well as first responders and community workers who serve vulnerable populations, among others. This, in turn, will protect community members and help reduce the number of people who need to access community health and Lady Minto Hospital services. It will also alleviate pressure on the scarce supply of personal protective equipment required by hospital medical staff.

“COVID-19 cases have been identified in the Gulf Islands and massive local activities are underway to prepare health care organizations and practitioners to provide prevention, diagnosis and treatment for affected members of the community. The use of personal protective equipment is essential to the safe provision of this care, but worldwide shortages extend to British Columbia and Salt Spring Island. On behalf of both our organizations, we are grateful for this funding,” said Dr. Manya Sadouski, physician lead for the Salt Spring Chapter – Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice.

SSC-RRDFP and SSCHS will jointly decide on, and prioritize, the appropriate allocation of these items based on World Health Organization guidelines as different individuals may need different equipment, while the SSC-RRDFP will monitor the ever-changing regulatory framework. Manufacturing is already underway, and those who receive PPE will be trained on correct use and sterilization procedures.

On-island organizations that are in need of PPE are urged to access the online need form here so distribution can begin as quickly as possible. The organizations ask for everyone’s patience as they roll-out this complex initiative.

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