OMAK – Mid-Valley Hospital received a shipment of 5,000 disposable surgical masks, imported and distributed by Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) last Thursday, April 16.
WSHA received federal funds to distribute to hospitals in the state. These funds are to be used to purchase much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Mid- Valley Hospital received $20,000 of this funding from WSHA and used a portion of that money to purchase 5,000 procedure masks for staff.
“We are so thankful for the funding and for WSHA’s quick action and willingness to step out of their usual role to help our small hospitals overcome challenges as we face COVID19,” said Leilah Taylor, Mid-Valley Hospital Purchasing Manager and Incident Command Logistics Chief.
WSHA purchased 300,000 disposable surgical masks from Dingyi North America and is selling the masks to facilities at-cost. The association is working with the Washington State Rural Health Collaborative to distribute the masks. Both organizations are donating the costs of logistics and transportation and volunteer pilots from the Boeing Employees’ Flying Association (BEFA) will deliver several shipments of masks via aircraft, meeting with hospital officials at local airports across the state.
The masks initially arrived in Washington from China on Friday, April 10 and have been stored at Kaiser Permanente’s Renton, Washington warehouse while the deliveries were coordinated.
“WSHA has never imported or distributed supplies to its members or other organizations and we had no idea how to do it, but we made it happen nonetheless,” WSHA President & CEO Cassie Sauer said. “This is just the first round of deliveries and we plan to distribute the next round to more facilities as soon as possible. Our hospitals and other care providers are desperate for supplies to keep staff and patients safe – our actions were fueled by this desperation.”