OKLAHOMA CITY — State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking school leaders statewide to help hospitals and nursing homes by donating desperately needed items such as hand sanitizer, masks and disinfecting wipes.
On Friday, Hofmeister wrote district leaders asking schools to donate surplus medical supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic having significantly drained inventories of personal protective equipment.
“Our school communities are known for their generosity and caring, and we have already seen them mobilize in response to the school closures necessitated by coronavirus,” said Hofmeister.
“Now we urge them to consider helping those healthcare workers on the front lines. Donating those supplies to hospitals and nursing homes in their communities will make a measurable difference.”
Leaders in Oklahoma’s healthcare field underscored the serious need for such items.
“On behalf of hospitals across Oklahoma, we greatly appreciate the efforts of local schools to help provide much needed supplies in this time of shortage,” said Patti Davis, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. “We must protect our healthcare professionals on the front lines of this pandemic so they can continue providing life-saving care to their patients. We have challenging days ahead, and health care resources are precious. Any supplies provided by the schools to their local hospitals will help fill a desperate gap.”
Care Providers President and CEO Steven Buck said nursing homes face similar challenges.
“Medical professionals in nursing homes and hospitals are on the front line of the battle against COVID-19 and need the tools necessary to save lives,” he said. “On behalf of Care Providers Oklahoma, I applaud Superintendent Hofmeister for her partnership in calling upon schools to help equip our caregivers and look forward to working locally with school district leaders to transfer these critical items.”
The specific items needed include masks, eye protection, gloves, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.