A.J. Bellile, Respiratory Therapy Program instructor, helps prepare ventilators for delivery to local health care providers to treat critically-ill patients.
“The biggest shame would be that if we have something to help with and we didn’t step up to the call,” NWTC Dean of Health Sciences and Education Scott Anderson said. As the COVID-19 pandemic grew around the world and right here at home, so did the need for ventilators and supplies.
Since the College moved in-person classes to flexible learning in March, NWTC leaders did not hesitate to share equipment and supplies with local hospitals that needed it.
“We wanted to be proactive and we wanted to make sure that we were making this offer before a request came because the hospitals do so much for our students,” Anderson said.
The College loaned eight ventilators and two non-invasive ventilators from Respiratory Therapy Program to area hospitals. In addition, the College’s EMS program and Public Safety Department gave portable suction units, masks and airway and breathing supplies to area hospitals. By early April, NWTC had provided $100,000 in equipment loans to area providers and donated $12,000 in additional supplies, and staff were still brainstorming about ways to assist.
“Since we are unable to use the supplies right now, we thought the best way to support frontline workers and our community is by giving what we can,” said Mindy Rose, NWTC EMS instructor. “We are happy to do whatever we can to help them during this crisis.”
“These are extraordinary times,” Anderson said. “Coming together to care for our community by sharing what we can is the kind of example we want to set for our students. We are in this together, and we will get through this together.”