SVSU stores medical supplies for local health care providers

Courtesy Photo | Cliff Block

SVSU is holding medical supplies for local health care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effort is part of a partnership with the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance. The partnership seeks to help health care organizations have a secure place to pick up donated medical supplies, including latex gloves, N-95 masks, medical face shields, gowns and hand sanitizer. 

CEO Beth Roszatycki said SVSU’s Ryder Center was a strategic storage location.

“The Ryder Center has the size to house the equipment, it has university police involvement and it’s one location that is central for people in the Great Lakes Bay Region to get to both to deliver and to distribute personal protective equipment,” she said.

The southeast corner of the Ryder Center, which normally stores equipment for the O’Neill Arena, was an ideal location for the supplies, said Ronald Portine SVSU associate vice president for Administration and Business Affairs. SVSU previously considered banquet rooms and classrooms but ultimately chose the Ryder for its convenient location and larger size.

“The room is approximately 2,500 square feet, easily secured and has drive-up access from Davis Rd. direct to a garage door,” he said.

Two custodial members and two student employees cleared the area of athletic equipment, staging for commencement, a forklift, chairs, tables and other items, Portwine said. The items are temporarily being housed in the O’Neill Arena.

“The contents will remain in the arena for as long as the storage room is needed to assist with the current health crisis,” Portwine said.

Roszatycki said manufacturers, school systems, gyms and fitness centers, for-profits and more have donated supplies. A range of health systems, primary care clinics, community-based organizations and others will receive the supplies. MiHIA could not publicly share the quantity of supplies collected.

For Roszatycki, collecting personal protective equipment is important because it will help keep local health providers safe.

 “One of the biggest issues that New York is dealing with right now is not having enough health professionals to care for those who are sick,” she said, “because the health providers themselves are sick. When individuals have appropriate and adequate professional protective equipment, they have the best chance of not contracting the virus.”

Portwine said SVSU’s decision to house the medical supplies is just one of the many ways the university has showed its commitment to community engagement during the pandemic.

“We support our local communities,” he said, “and providing space to store critical medical supplies is one way SVSU can assist during the current health crisis.”

Kaitlyn Farley

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