Many first responders are trained and educated at local community colleges which shows how these small colleges have proven essential, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Ohio community college responses to COVID-19 have also proven that they are more than just educational institutions—they care about their students, both past and present, and their communities. Each of Ohio’s community colleges has united in their fight of COVID-19 in various ways, from donating PPE to lending ventilators.
During this time when colleges are closed and learning has gone online to protect students and communities, Belmont College has chosen to mobilize with other community colleges in gathering and donating their unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate to the hospitals that need it most. In lieu of the current supply shortage, Belmont has donated its medical equipment that used to be used in its nursing program, EMT programs, and other first responder programs.
As institutions for higher learning have had to close doors to in-person learning and move to online instruction, Clark State Community College has collected all the personal protective equipment used during the instruction of nursing students, lab technicians, and EMTs to donate to local hospitals. They have gathered N95 masks, face shields, isolation gowns, caps, shoe coverings, and more to help alleviate the supply shortage many hospitals are feeling while they attend to patients with COVID-19.
Columbus State Community College is part of the Association of Ohio Community Colleges and has created an emergency fund to aid students during this time that need help with housing, food, or educational expenses. Along with this effort to assist students of community colleges, they have also gathered supplies for personal protective equipment to donate to hospitals. Most nursing professionals started their education and training at a community college and it is these programs that are now donating their supplies to help frontline healthcare workers.
With many first responders having received their training at a community college, Hocking College recognizes the importance of healthcare personnel to have the necessary protective equipment to keep them safe and healthy while they care for others. Hocking College has gathered and donated their PPE that is usually used in training nurses and first responders while their campuses are closed to in-person learning. Some community colleges have offered their parking lots to be utilized as drive-up COVID testing sites in the event they should need them. If local hospitals need ventilators, Hocking College is prepared to lend or donate theirs should the need arise.
North Central State Community College has stepped up to gather gloves, isolation gowns, caps, masks, and face shields that are used by their nursing program and EMT program to donate to local hospitals during the pandemic.
Many colleges have also offered their parking lots to be used as drive-up testing sites while instruction has been moved remotely. If hospitals need extra ventilators they are prepared to loan those as well to assist in the fight against COVID 19.
Rio Grande Community College is part of the Association of Ohio Community Colleges and has created an emergency fund to aid students during this time in which many are experiencing the financial need for either housing, food, or educational expenses. Along with this effort to assist students of community colleges, they have also gathered supplies for personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate to hospitals that need these supplies. Most nursing professionals started their education and training at a community college, and it is these programs that are now donating their supplies to help frontline healthcare workers.
With more than one-third of adults in Ohio studying at a community college, these institutions play a critical role in the educational and economic thread of Ohio. Now more than ever these institutions have stepped up to prove how critical they are to society. Ohio community college responses to COVID-19 have played a key role in gathering and mobilizing thousands of items of personal protective equipment for frontline responders. These institutions have had a huge part in protecting the communities of Ohio.
Know of other selfless responses to COVID-19 from Ohio community colleges? Let us know so we can recognize them!