RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There is a global shortage of critical protective equipment used to keep health care workers safe as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic. With the shortage being felt in Virginia as well, one local dentist office decided to step up to help.
Health care providers are working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients and the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) is at an all-time high. As calls for masks, gloves and gowns grow louder, Commonwealth Dentistry has worked to help Virginians on the frontlines.
“When these health care workers don’t have the PPE they need, they’re literally putting their lives on the line,” McKenzie Woodard, a partner at Commonwealth Dentistry, said Monday.
Woodard told 8News that all hospitals are being inundated with phone calls so she created a Facebook page where dental offices can go to link with medical facilities and find out what they need.
The Virginia Dental Association has recommended that dental offices limit their care to emergency procedures only, prompting Woodward to call on all dental offices to donate the PPE they’re not able to use.
“Last week we really started reaching out to hospitals directly and trying to find out how we could get our additional PPE into the hands of the hospitals that need it,” she said. “Everyone has to do everything they can, no matter how minimal it may seem to try to help alleviate the issue.”
Woodward packed up critical supplies from her office, donating 500 masks, 1,500 gloves and a large dispenser of sanitizer. The equipment will be house in a storage unit and distributed to medical facilities in need.
Essential supplies were donated to Johnston-Willis Hospital, Chippenham Hospital and a long-term care facility in Fork-Union. The goal is to fill the storage unit up.
Donation locations for the rest of the week include Dr. Karen McAndrew Dental Office at 10442 Patterson Avenue in Richmond and at Commonwealth Dentistry’s Colonial Heights office at 456 Charles H. Dimmock Pkwy. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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