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ECU working to assist healthcare providers

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

ADA – With on-campus classes transitioned online for the rest of the semester, East Central University is looking for ways to assist healthcare providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have been so blessed,” said Darcy Duncan, ECU School of Nursing director. “We have received support for our faculty and students from all of our clinical facilities in so many ways over the years. We know there is a growing need for PPE supplies, and we wanted to help.”

Both ECU’s Ada and Durant Nursing campuses gathered the personal protective equipment they had on hand last week and donated it to healthcare facilities in Ada, Shawnee and Madill.

“We spend a lot of time teaching our students about compassion and empathy,” Duncan said. “Sometimes it works best to teach by example. A gesture that might seem small, like donating a box of gloves, may mean the world to someone else.”

To date, ECU’s School of Nursing has donated in excess of 5,000 pairs of gloves, 400 masks, 350 gowns, 300 head covers, and 300 pairs of foot covers to area healthcare providers based on specific facility need.

“We are fortunate to have wonderful partners such as our healthcare facilities,” said Katricia Pierson, ECU president. “We cannot do our job educating nurses without them and we are happy to assist them in protecting our community.”

ECU is also working directly with Mercy Hospital to house clinicians who may eventually treat area COVID-19 patients. If this scenario plays out, healthcare workers cannot go home and will have to be isolated from their families and the general public. Should it become necessary, the University will provide temporary housing for Mercy employees based on availability.

“As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in the community, it is not entirely unexpected that we would have co-workers who would need to be isolated in order to continue serving our patients,” said Terence Farrell, president of Mercy Hospital in Ada. “We sincerely appreciate and value the community collaboration with ECU and their willingness to help us answer our call to serve.”

Duncan noted that ECU will continue to provide whatever resources it can to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the area.

“I am extremely proud of our full-time and adjunct faculty, our students and our clinical partners,” she said. “They all want to be out there to do what is needed and are proud to be a part of this amazing profession. I’d work alongside anyone of them, any day.”

The ECU COVID-19 Response Plan website provides the most up-to-date information on the University’s course of action in joining global efforts to halt the pandemic. To learn more, visit www.ecok.edu/covid-19info.