Battling COVID-19 is a joint community effort, and Adventist Health Bakersfield demonstrated that Wednesday by donating personal protective equipment to Kern Medical.
Adventist Health Bakersfield recently received a $100,000 grant from Chevron. Wanting to share the wealth, a part of the donation went to Kern Medical in the form of masks, gloves and wipes, explained Sharlet Briggs, Adventist Health Bakersfield president and CEO.
"As we look at partnerships and ... as a community dealing with COVID-19, it really takes all of us to do this," Briggs said. "We're proud of the work that Chevron has given us and the grant, as well as the work Kern Medical is doing."
More than 20,000 gloves, 5,000 N95 masks and several packages of wipes are now in the hands of Kern Medical staff members.
"We'll put it to use immediately," said Russell Judd, president and CEO of Kern Medical.
Judd said the hospital goes through roughly 1,200 masks, 800 gowns and 4,000 to 5,000 pairs of gloves each day. The supplies will go fast, he said, but will continue keeping frontline workers safe during the pandemic.
In recent months, the cost to acquire personal protective equipment has increased, Judd explained. What once cost about 50 cents now has a $3 to $4 price tag on it.
Thanks to the donation, instead of having to spend extra money on gloves, masks and other items, Kern Medical can have funds go toward patient care, which is "very helpful," Judd said.
Wednesday's donation was also a way to spotlight community hospitals helping one another during difficult times. As Kern County continues seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, now is the time for health care centers to come together and continue fighting the pandemic.
"This is not the time to say 'This is mine ... this is yours or that’s yours,' this is what we do together to make sure we can meet the needs of the community to provide the care that’s necessary and, while we’re doing so, keep our workforce safe," Judd said. "Together we will get through this difficult and unique situation."