UM joins calls for donations to help health care workers fight virus

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The University of Michigan has joined other hospital systems in asking the community to donate supplies as it continues caring for the surging number of COVID-19 patients.

Katie Doyle from the UM School of Sociology receives donations on Sunday at the Ann Arbor hospital's North Campus Research Complex.

So far, more than 350 donors turned out during the first weekend to deliver items including as face masks, gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer, according to health system. 

"It was an amazing few days to get this drive going and then to see who came through today," said UM Spokeswoman Kara Gavin. "We're going to keep going."

From left, UM Medical School supply chain value analyst and RN Pat Kielezewski and project manager Corrie Pennington-Block box up some of the donated supplies that are opened or are hard to categorize.  Donations of medical protective gear are received at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor, March 22, 2020.

Gavin said that donations have come from people including former cancer and pneumonia patients.

"People who had things from their own stockpile from their own personal care and now that they're better, they don't need them anymore," she said. 

The donation requests come as Michigan reached 1,035 confirmed COVID-19 cases resulting in nine deaths through Sunday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Donations of medical protective gear and supplies are received at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor, March 22, 2020.

Oakland County, Beaumont Health and Sparrow Health System also are accepting donations of protective equipment.

Beaumont Health is accepting donations of certain items at Beaumont Service Center, 26901 Beaumont Boulevard in Southfield. Oakland County is calling for donations of masks, face shields, surgical gowns, surgical gloves, no-touch thermometers and respirators at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Thank-you cards were included inside boxes of donations of medical protective gear and supplies during drop-off at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor on Sunday.

Donations to UM can be made noon to 5 p.m. each weekday at the North Campus Research Complex, at corner of Huron Parkway and Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

Accepted donations include new or unused disposable face masks, N-95 masks, sometimes called respirators, eye protection including face shields and safety goggles, disposable gowns, disposable gloves, especially non-latex, disposable surgical caps, disposable foot covers, bleach or antimicrobial wipes and hand sanitizer.

Another thank-you from donors.

Specialized items include PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators) and PAPR hoods, nasal testing swabs and viral testing kits.