Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Hospital Association began working with statewide business groups and partnering with Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman to request the donation of health care worker personal protective equipment (PPE) to local hospitals.
“As I am sure you know, the COVID-19 outbreak is placing tremendous strain on Wisconsin health care’s supply of Personal Protection Equipment. This includes quickly dwindling supplies of gowns, gloves, eye shields and, especially, face masks (specifically NIOSH 95 masks, or N95s),” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said in an appeal to the state’s largest business, building and construction groups. “This equipment is critical to protecting our frontline health care workforce from infection when testing and treating for COVID-19, keeping our dedicated doctors, nurses, technicians and others there when we all need them most.”
Many construction associations and trade groups responded immediately to the calls from Borgerding and Frostman, alerting their members to health care’s need. The state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and industry association Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) also took to social media to help promote the ability for Wisconsin companies to join together in assisting health care’s safety.
“I want to thank WMC, the Wisconsin Builders Association, Associated Builders and Contractors Wisconsin, Associated General Contractors Wisconsin and many other businesses and trades unions who have responded to this request,” Borgerding said. “It is a great example of how Wisconsin pulls together in a crisis. We are very grateful.”
Wisconsin is expected to receive a portion of the health care protective equipment national stockpile soon, but the Department of Health Services has already warned this allocation of supplies is limited. WHA is encouraging businesses and groups willing to donate PPE and related supplies to their local hospital, as every hospital is in need. Groups with supplies should contact their local hospital directly.
“Tonight, I am echoing a message sent out by the Wisconsin Hospital Association,” said Secretary Frostman to several building trade groups across Wisconsin. “I am hoping your groups and members here in Wisconsin might be able to donate N95s to their local hospitals. Time is not on our side, unfortunately...”