The coronavirus outbreak has caused a serious shortage of critical supplies for hospitals. Bronson Methodist Hospital and Ascension Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo are asking the community to help fill the gap.
Josh Fitzgibbon is Bronson's community activities branch director at the hospital's pandemic command cener.
"We've received a lot of questions from people who want to help, and people who have unused supplies at home, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and things like that. And so, we've just been very humbled by people reaching out to us. We also have a need to accept these donations."
Fitzgibbon says it needs donations of face masks.
"Some people will have N95 masks from past projects, maybe carpentry or painting, or things like that. And maybe they didn't get to use these masks. They're in the package sitting in their home and could be used. And so, some people have reached out to contact us for that."
Fitzgibbon says Bronson also needs donations of a wide range of other supplies too.
"Disposable gloves, especially non-latex gloves, will definitely be appreciated and welcome, as well as disposable surgical caps, disposable foot covers, and sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer or bleach. And so, some of these things are things people have in their homes but we've seen that some businesses have reached out to us."
Fitzgibbon says donations should not be taken directly to Bronson and its affiliated hospitals. He says special collection centers have been set up in Kalamazoo, Portage, Paw Paw, Battle Creek, and South Haven. Donations are also being accepted by Ascension Borgess every day at the Lawrence Education Center, 1521 Gull Road, in Kalamazoo from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And Fitzgibbon says Bronson isn't the only hospital in Michigan reaching out to their community for help during the coronavirus crisis.
"I think that we are all experiencing similar things as organizations, and we also have probably received similar requests from our communities to help out in this way."