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Show appreciation for health care heroes

The brave, hard-working staff of local hospital systems need support from the local community in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Both Sentara and Bon Secours hospitals issued calls in the last week for support for their staff. Community members can help in a number of ways.

One of the greatest needs for Sentara Healthcare staff at this time is for personal protective equipment, or PPE. These PPE items include the following:

  • Masks (N95 or disposable face masks)
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Impervious gowns (level one through level four)
  • Disposable shoe covers
  • Fog-free face shields
  • Goggles

Sentara Healthcare is facing a shortage of the PPE they need to keep staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic, and any donations of masks, eyewear, gowns or gloves would be greatly appreciated, according to a Friday email from Sentara Healthcare.

“Every little bit helps to keep the brave staff healthy,” the Sentara email states.

There is also an opportunity to sign up online through mealtrain.com to provide packaged meals for the “health care heroes” at Sentara Obici and BelleHarbour. All food must come from an accredited restaurant and be individually packaged — no platters or communal service.

“These women and men are working hard each day to combat COVID-19 while providing care to those who are suffering,” the Sentara email states. “This is a small gesture of appreciation for all they do to keep our community safe.”

The Suffolk community can also write thank you notes to show their appreciation for these health care heroes, who will continue to be on the frontlines of this pandemic in the months to come.

“Maintaining staff morale will be critical while this outbreak runs its course,” the email states. “Encouragement for the hard-working health care team as well as for the patients goes a very long way.”

In their Friday community update, Sentara Healthcare thanked their generous community for the ongoing support during this incredibly difficult time.

“We are humbled by the generosity and kindness that you have shown our team members, and each other, during this difficult time,” the update states. “The safety of our Sentara family and our community is our highest priority. Please continue to lift each other up, and show your support for our hard-working health care heroes on our Sentara Healthcare Facebook page!”

Visit mealtrain.com/w13og0 for more information on signing up to provide meals, and call Sentara Obici Incident Command at 934-4532 to find out more about PPE donations and thank you cards.

Visit sentara.com/coronavirus for more on how people can support their Sentara hospital system doctors, nurses and other health care workers.

At Bon Secours, donations of PPE are also being accepted.

“Bon Secours continues to receive generous offers from organizations and community members seeking to donate supplies in response to the COVID-19 supply shortages facing health care systems across the country,” a Friday press release stated. “To facilitate the receipt and distribution of donated supplies, Bon Secours has established a central donation process for community members and organizations seeking to donate to our facilities. Currently, we are accepting donations of goggles, face shields, masks, latex gloves and Tyvek suits.”

While standard clinical masks remain the best protection for health care workers, donations of handmade masks are being accepted. They will be evaluated before distribution, the press release states.

“Our quality, safety, supply chain and clinical teams are collaborating to evaluate the type and volume of donations, as well as areas where we may have additional needs and our health system will provide updates on our website,” the press release states. “If community members have supplies they want donate or are aware of people in the community looking for places to donate, please direct them to use the below contact information.”