As healthcare providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic face shortages of personal protective equipment, New Mexico State University is pitching in to help local hospitals in Las Cruces.
“The Las Cruces health community is in need of N95 respirators or surgical masks, surgical gowns and face shields or goggles,” said Clint Lanier, NMSU assistant professor of English. “Anything we can spare from our research faculty would help.”
NMSU Police have already donated 8,000 masks to the Office of Emergency Management for area first responders.
Spearheaded by Lanier, researchers across campus are gathering up spare surgical masks, gowns, face shields or goggles to donate to Mountain View Regional Medical Center and Memorial Medical Center. The gear is not being used this semester since the labs are closed.
For Lanier, the drive for PPE is personal.
“My wife is an ER nurse at one of the local hospitals and I grew concerned about her and her colleagues while watching the rise in cases around the country and reading the reports on the lack of equipment found in healthcare facilities,” Lanier said. “According to research, the worst is yet to come for our region, so I'm hoping we're able to ease their burden by getting them what supplies we have at NMSU as soon as possible.”
NMSU has determined that it can lawfully donate these supplies in response to the need during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. NMSU Police will be organizing and securing the protective gear and sorting it for the hospitals to pick up.
Community members interested in helping students, faculty and staff at NMSU can donate to the Aggie Cupboard at https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/6947/donate . The NMSU Foundation also created the Aggie Emergency Fund to help students with housing and other unexpected expenses as a result of the impact on their studies from the coronavirus pandemic. Visit https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/20622 for more information.