HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — While medical professionals face shortages of critical resources to fight COVID-19, Northern Kentucky University stepped up to help two local hospitals, donating personal protective equipment and ventilators used for instruction in the College of Health and Human Services.
NKU donated three ventilators to Christ Hospital Health Network and two ventilators to St. Elizabeth Healthcare for patients in critical condition. St. Elizabeth also received the colleges’ supply of vitally needed resources — including N95 masks and Nitrile gloves.
“We are in this together, and we wanted to be proactive to ensure our region’s wellbeing,” said Dr. Dale Stephenson, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “Our hospitals may not be facing a shortage today or tomorrow, but with the rising number of patients daily, it’s important that our region battles this together.”
Students in the College of Health & Human Services use the equipment in NKU’s Health Innovation Center. The state-of-the-art technology and learning center is home to the St. Elizabeth Center for Simulation Education — where students can practice real-life healthcare situations. However, with NKU’s transition to remote learning, the resources sat idle. Stephenson knew there was a better use than collecting dust in empty classrooms.
The college packed up its five ventilators, which are critical to help patients breathe and gathered its inventory of Nitrile exam gloves, face masks, goggles and N95 masks. The personal protective equipment will help protect St. Elizabeth’s employees against the spread of respiratory pathogens and infections. Stephenson came to campus to oversee the transfer of the ventilators to St. Elizabeth and Christ Hospital.
“Once we had realized a call of duty, our faculty and staff wanted to help in whatever way they could. NKU plays a vital role to our region, and I’m happy we were able to be a great community partner. This truly shows the power of working together,” said Stephenson.
NKU also recently launched an emergency fund to make sure student’s needs are taken care of during the global pandemic, whether educational or personal. Any student can use the resource to ease their mounting worries, like how to afford food and personal items.