Story submitted by Phil Blumberg, Executive Director, Des Moines University Clinic
Every year Des Moines University hosts two special events for children from around the Des Moines Metropolitan area. Girls Exploring Medicine and Science (GEMS), and Boys Reaching for Opportunities in Science (BROS) are two free events that introduce girls in grades 4 – 7, and boys in grades 2 – 6, to different fields of medicine and health sciences. These programs use hands-on workshops to spark interest and inspire students to consider careers in healthcare and science. These hands-on workshops give students experiences such as looking at bacteria through a microscope, learning how to care for athletes after a game, and how to scrub in for surgery including the use of personal protective equipment.
Due to the COVDI-19 global pandemic we had to cancel our GEMS event. Kudos to our team in Community Relations – they made the call to cancel early and were absolutely right in doing so. Since the event was canceled we had an inventory of PPE – gowns surgical masks, gloves – that would otherwise go unused. Additional PPE would also go unused by some of DMU’s academic programs after the cancelation of in-person labs this spring. The decision was made to donate the unused supplies, PPE, that are now in such great demand and used to care for Covid19 patients in hospitals.
7,000 gloves, 50 droplet precaution gowns, 100 high filtration surgical masks, and 100 surgical caps were donated to the Polk County strategic reserve and will be dispersed to healthcare providers as needed