CVTC contributes to efforts fighting COVID-19 outbreak
Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC) health and emergency services programs are providing supplies, equipment and expertise, to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and faculty members are ready to bring their expertise.
The value of equipment and supplies donated to local emergency service centers is over $10,000, according to Shelly Olson, executive dean of health and emergency services.
“We inventoried all FireMedic and Emergency Medical Services supplies, including non-disposable equipment and disposable personal protection equipment (PPE),” said Mark Schwartz, emergency services continuing education coordinator. “Our disposable PPE, like masks and gloves, were divided up for our 11-county area and distributed to the majority of the counties Monday (March 23). We were able to send out about 80 N-95 masks, eight boxes of gloves, and a small amount of surgical gowns and masks to each county.”
An additional 30 gowns, several cases of gloves and hand sanitizers, and equipment disinfectant from the Health Education Center, were also provided to the 11 counties.
The supplies were distributed to the emergency management departments in each county, which will determine the best use of the equipment and supplies, and distribute them.
CVTC also loaned three ventilators from its respiratory therapy program to Mayo Clinic Health System hospital and two to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. Ventilators are critical pieces of equipment for people who have severe cases of COVID-19 or underlying health problems that put them at risk.
Healthcare facilities fear not having enough respirators for people who need them as the disease spreads, which has already happened in some parts of the country.
CVTC’s respiratory therapy faculty members Theresa Meinen and Donald Raymond, are ready to join the fight, as well.
“I was an employee of Mayo for 20 years, leaving in 2015, and Don worked there for a time as well,” said Meinen. “We have renewed our employment there and are ready to come to work should the hospital need us during the outbreak.”
Mayo has also hired four CVTC students who will be able to do some lower level respiratory care work.
“The students are eight weeks from graduating and are confident in most things,” said Meinen.