Most of the first responders were trained and educated at one of the many local community colleges, they have been essential institutions throughout the history of America but have proven again how essential they are during the time a crisis. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Iowa have shown how much society relies on these institutions. It is these same institutions that have donated time, materials, and financially to their communities. From faculty to students everyone has stepped up to help fight during this global crisis.
Iowa Western Community College has stepped up to answer the call for PPE. As more hospitals are experiencing the supply shortage of personal protective equipment those in the community have been innovative and generous with PPE donations. Iowa Western has created a 3-D printing lab with multiple printers to make face shields to donate to local hospitals and healthcare facilities. They have made hundreds of reusable face shields with the help of students and select faculty members.
As COVID 19 spread across the county most hospitals found they had a severe shortage of PPE to protect frontline healthcare workers and first responders. When faculty of Des Moines Community College heard of the need from their local facilities they gathered N95 masks and delivered them directly to healthcare workers. They gathered over 4,000 masks and donated them to local facilities. Most of the nursing staff in the area of Des Moines are graduates of Des Moines Community College. This donation directly helps protect those graduates.
Wilkes Community College has transitioned to remote online courses amid the pandemic of COVID 19 like so many other community colleges across the nation. As they have transitioned they are not using the ventilators used for instruction in their respiratory therapy program. While these machines are not being used Wilkes has chosen to loan these ventilators to local hospitals that are treating patients with COVID 19.
With supplies running short and not enough life-saving ventilators to serve every patient, these ventilators come at a critical time during the local communities’ fight against this deadly virus.
Iowa State has tapped its resources through the 4-H community outreach program to sew and donate over 12,000 masks. They have united as faculty, staff, 4-H member and alumni to sew approved masks to answer to call to protect those in the community by having face coverings to slow the spread of COVID 19.
With a severe supply shortage of personal protective equipment, faculty and students of the University of Iowa have used their resources to help alleviate that with 3-D printed face shields. They have developed and printed the bands necessary for healthcare workers to wear face shields. They developed these bands to be comfortable for extended use. After printing and assembling them they have donated them to local hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Wanting to do their part to protect those providing life-saving care and treatment to patients of COVDI 19, Clinton Community College has gathered and donated personal protective equipment to Mercy One. As many of the nursing graduates of Clinton Community College have worked with Mercy One it was an easy decision to donate masks and gowns during this time. While the nursing program is not able to use the items in the nursing simulation labs at this time it was a natural decision to donate what they could to protect those on the frontlines.
In times of crisis we see people step up and serve in unique ways, those at Morningside College have done just that. Faculty and staff have chosen to gather and donate all the unopened and unused PPE they could find on campus. They gathered items such as gloves, gowns, eye goggles, isolation kits, PPE kits, and more. With the help of nursing students they gathered everything that could be useful to frontline healthcare workers at this time.
While students across the country have had to quickly adapt to taking courses online it has become clear that not every student has access to reliable high-speed internet to even make it possible. Eastern Iowa Community College has chosen to designate select parking lots to have access to free WiFi. Students can use the WiFi at these select locations with a secure connection. This has enabled students to complete their coursework online.
While students across the country have had to quickly adapt to taking courses online it has become clear that not every student has access to reliable high-speed internet to even make it possible. Western Iowa Tech Community College has chosen to designate select parking lots to have access to free WiFi. Students can use the WiFi at these select locations with a secure connection. This has enabled students to complete their coursework online.
Colleges continue to be an essential thread of American society as institutions for learning, training, and now mobilizing for necessary PPE. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Iowa have proven how much society depends on these institutions. They have all gathered and mobilized to protect the healthcare professionals and the communities in which they are a part during the crisis of COVID 19.
Do you know of any other amazing college responses to COVID-19 in Iowa? If so, contact us so we can recognize them and add them to our list!