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Boise State donates personal protective equipment to Idaho health institutions

*This story is developing and will be updated with more information on campus partners’ donations soon.

Personal protective equipment donations from Boise State labs on their way to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, photo provided by Kathleen Mukengezi.

As the current number of COVID-19 cases in Idaho spikes above 1,100, Boise State University is dedicated to serving those on the front lines of the pandemic, especially the health care professionals who make sacrifices daily to keep Idaho communities safe and thriving.

While the university’s campus life has moved online, dedicated faculty, staff and personnel have been collecting and contributing personal protective equipment (PPE) from labs and departments across the colleges to deliver to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, as well as local health care providers such as Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. Contributing departments included biology, chemistry, physics, and art, design and visual studies, as well as mechanical and biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering, and electrical and computer engineering.

“The faculty and staff in the College of Engineering have been living our values of Integrity, Innovation and Inclusion throughout the last week. Their contribution of creative energy to the many tasks at hand, including this one, is inspiring,” said JoAnn Lighty dean of the College of Engineering.

Resources were generously donated from labs and classrooms across the university in a show of unified support for Idaho’s health care workers.

“It’s all hands on deck and folks are motivated to meet the need. There’s no hesitation to step up to provide what we have available to where it can be utilized in the most appropriate ways,” said Owen McDougal, professor and chair of the chemistry department.Owen McDougal

Staff have worked to collect, move and coordinate the delivery of equipment including chemicals, masks, respirators, protective eyewear, single use lab coats, sterile swabs, gloves and more. All of these items are essential to ensuring the maintained health of hospital workers.

Boxes on a pallet in a warehouse
Donations of personal protective equipment made to Saint Alphonsus, photo provided by Saint Alphonsus.

“Saint Alphonsus is grateful to have the support of Boise State University […] for their generous donation of PPE and other medical supplies to help our caregivers on the front lines,” said Jill Aldape, the vice president of philanthropy at Saint Alphonsus.

“With the nationwide shortage and lag in getting critical supplies to hospitals, this donation allows us to continue to provide the highest level of care to those in need while keeping our staff safe,” Aldape said.Jill Aldape

Dean Leslie Durham of the College of Arts and Sciences also expressed her pride in the opportunity to be able to serve Idaho’s health care providers.

“As soon as College of Arts and Sciences staff and faculty realized that there was a need we could help to address, we started gathering supplies and PPE,” said Durham. “We are proud to be able to join the effort to protect our health care providers. It’s one small gesture of gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service and bravery.”

Boise State lab supplies being collected for donation