Photo By Kris McBride/EAC: Carolyn McCormies, Eastern Arizona College Director of Nursing and Division Chair for Nursing and Allied Health, interacts with students at the Thatcher Campus. EAC is one of Arizona’s community colleges that are helping supply personal protective equipment to local hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Kris McBride
Phoenix – As healthcare workers grimly face a national shortage of medical supplies, nursing programs from Arizona’s community colleges are quickly organizing and donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to support local hospitals.
“We are 17 nursing programs strong and have joined forces to help those at the frontlines of this pandemic,” stated Dr. Jackie Elliot, president of Central Arizona College. “These supplies help form a first line of defense, and give healthcare workers and patients the gear needed to protect against infection.”
To date, community college nursing programs from across Arizona have supplied thousands of boxes of sterile gloves, biohazard bags, precaution gowns, face masks, shoe covers, and surgical head covers to facilities in their areas. Programs have also provided much-needed ventilators, hospital beds, face shields, goggles, and even student and employee volunteers.
“Arizona’s community colleges are in a unique position to help,” stated Todd Haynie, president of Eastern Arizona College. “We use these supplies every day in our classrooms, but the community need is much greater now. Once the supply chain levels out, hospitals will replace these items so our students have the tools needed to succeed.”
Inventory counts are currently underway so additional items can be donated from other colleges across Arizona, including allied health and science programs.
To continue to support Arizona’s community college students, courses have moved to remote learning environments for the remainder of the semester.
About Arizona’s Community Colleges
With 10 college districts and nearly 300,000 students, the Arizona Community Colleges are the backbone of Arizona’s higher educational system, driving the economic engine and delivering an educated citizenry to meet the most in-demand jobs of today and the complexities of tomorrow. Connected through shared goals of access and completion, Arizona Community Colleges deliver high-quality, low-cost education, prepare students of all ages across the state to be career-ready and enable students for pathways to universities. Learn more at www.arizonacommunitycolleges.org.