College Answers Call to Support Local Hospitals
Published on 30 March 2020
As the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the globe, higher education institutions across the country are grappling with how to effectively deliver education while protecting students, faculty and staff, and supporting ongoing social distancing efforts.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy has implemented online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, remote work directives for employees, and access to campus has been restricted in order to support social distancing efforts.
"As we have navigated this challenging situation, we have been faced with difficult decisions," said John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAPhA, president of the College. "The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is my foremost concern, and we're taking decisive action to protect them. But we also recognize the personal, academic and professional challenges they're facing. Our innovative, resilient community is coming together around creative, new ways to help our students be successful."
Since 1864, the strength of the College community has been the key to its resilience in times of trial and uncertainty. During moments of crisis – World Wars I and II, the 1918 worldwide influenza pandemic and even The Great Depression, the College has maintained a steadfast presence in the St. Louis region.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the College is again working with its partners to support the local community and neighboring health care institutions.
To ensure essential medical supplies are available during this time of great need, BJC HealthCare reached out to area nursing, pharmacy and other allied health programs that have moved to online instruction.
"Hospitals in the St. Louis metro area are experiencing high volumes of patients and increasingly limited personal protective equipment (PPE)," said Jason Campbell, MPA, CEM, emergency manager at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "BJC HealthCare is coordinating with all health professional institutions for PPE and other resources, so all community hospitals may continue to provide safe and high-quality care."
The College eagerly met this call and has donated a total of 16,400 gloves, 350 masks, 200 yellow isolation gowns, and 4,000 alcohol preparation swabs. In addition, the College has opened its classrooms to Barnes-Jewish Hospital clinical pharmacists in need of more space.
"Now, more than ever, is a time to support each other for strength and support," Pieper said. "Extending our campus space and donating medical supplies from our skills labs is just one way we hope to support the community during this time of uncertainty. We are all navigating this pandemic together."
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