Looking for a way to help health care professionals prepare for the COVID-19 crisis? Support a mask and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) Drive this Sunday, March 22, 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Homewood Library – 1721 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209.
The upcoming event is organized by a group of Birmingham physician moms (doctors with kids) and supported by volunteers in the Homewood community.
The grassroots group is asking for the following donations:
- Surgical masks and M95 masks
- Shoe covers and surgical caps
- Hand sanitizer
For infection prevention reasons, when you donate, the group is asking people to physically place the items in a box at the Homewood Library site. There will not be hand to hand contact or exchange. They will have Lysol wipes and hand gel on hand.
Donated items will be distributed locally to healthcare professionals combating the coronavirus outbreak, including UAB and nearby hospitals.
Homewood resident Dr. Ellen Eaton, assistant professor at the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UAB, is one of the group’s organizers.
In an interview with Bham Now, she described to us why she and her fellow “physician Moms” launched the drive.
“I am following a lot of my friends who are infectious disease professionals in New England and California, who are seeing many more cases of coronavirus,” said Eaton.
“Unfortunately, we are just now seeing it (the virus) take off in Birmingham. They have all been cautioning us that we WILL be rapidly running out of masks and PPE – which is short for personal protection equipment.”
According to Eaton, the idea for the drive came from a Birmingham group of “physician moms” on Facebook who have been discussing informally concerns about medical resources and how to respond to the coronavirus.
“We started talking about our needs,” added Eaton.
“It became apparent to me that UAB and Jefferson County Department of Health are all tied up at the moment responding to testing needs, that no one has been able to centralize any kind of drive for masks.”
To get the ball rolling on the project, Eaton reached out to her Homewood City Councilwomen Jennifer Andress and she connected her with the Homewood Library, which is closed but has a covered circular drive thru. The location is perfect for dropping off masks and PPE.
They asked Homewood neighborhood friends and physician moms to volunteer an hour or two and accept donations. In just a couple of hours, they had enough volunteers for a two day drive this weekend.
The group is expecting to hold a drive next weekend. Another physician mom has stepped forward to help organize the event since Eagan expects to be working – seeing coronavirus patients, next week.
At the conclusion of our interview, Eaton made one last call for support, especially within the medical community.
“We are rallying our colleagues that have non-essential medical practices, that have been shutdown in the short term, to see if they have gowns, shoe covers, masks. As we watch and wait for this virus to impact us, we anticipate a need for this PPE.”
Please donate today at the Homewood Library. Follow Bham Now and be on the lookout for details about next weekend’s event. Together we will make a difference.