LATROBE, PA – The Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Sciences in Saint Vincent College’s Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing recently made a sizable donation of laboratory supplies to aid first responders and medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Stephen Jodis, dean of the Boyer School, received correspondence from Westmoreland County commissioner Doug Chew inquiring about the possibility of donating any unused personal protective equipment in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion. Within 36 hours, a team of Saint Vincent College staff and faculty was mobilized to gather hundreds of pounds of supplies for donation to the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety and Conemaugh Home Health.
The collection of items included more than 500 boxes of gloves, 500 face masks, 200 shoe covers, 180 bouffant caps, 100 fluid-proof gowns and surgical caps, 30 sets of surgical gloves, 25 sets of disposable scrubs, 20 sets of safety goggles and 10 disposable lab coats.
A team of Boyer School faculty and staff gathered the donated items on Monday morning, which were collected by Cassandra Kovach, public information officer for the Westmoreland County Department of Public safety. The SVC team included Romi Green, chemical hygiene coordinator; Fr. Shawn Anderson, O.S.B., associate professor of biology; Br. Albert Gahr, O.S.B., associate professor of biology; Krista Jobe, human anatomy lab manager; and Kayla Uveges, laboratory coordinator.
“I was proud of our Saint Vincent community for its generosity and for how quickly everyone jumped in to help gather the needed supplies,” said Green. “I was happy to have a small part in help coordinating this effort.”
Kovatch lauded the Boyer School for its generosity at a time in which resources of first responders and medical personnel are stretched thin.
“During this unprecedented time, resources are scarce, and we are doing our best to keep our first responders and hospitals stocked with as much personal protective equipment as possible for their safety,” Kovatch said. “They are our greatest assets, and it is comforting to know that our communities realize this throughout this crisis. We cannot thank Saint Vincent College and its staff enough for their collaboration and quick response when we needed them most.
“As our local Fred Rogers once said, ‘When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”