In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Lakeland Community College has donated medical supplies to regional partners in need. As a place that prepares health care professionals to serve in their chosen vocations, colleges like Lakeland have ample supplies.
"Lakeland is proud to do its part and we join colleges and universities throughout the country in donating medical supplies to our local communities," said Lakeland President Morris W. Beverage Jr. "Donations came from our health program areas that use this equipment such as nursing, dental hygiene, surgical technology, medical assisting, and medical laboratory. Our police department was also able to donate a number of items as well."
More than 11,000 exam gloves, 3,100 facemasks and related items such as isolation and surgical gowns, have been distributed.
Agencies that received medical supply donations from Lakeland include Lake Health, the Lake County Emergency Management Agency, the Lake County Board of DD/Deepwood, LakeMed Care, the Windsor Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine, and University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center.
Some hospitals also requested to borrow equipment in advance of projected needs. Lakeland's nursing and paramedic programs are loaning four hospital beds to University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center (UHAMC), and the respiratory therapy program is able to loan two ventilators to Lake Health and three to UHAMC.
Aside from medical supplies, the college also donated food supplies locally. With no students on-site and the campus closed through at least May 1, Lakeland's dining services contributed a substantial amount of food and beverages to those in need at the Salvation Army of Painesville.
In addition to helping the community, Lakeland also responded to its own student needs. The abrupt switch over to online classes was a challenge to students without home access to a computer. Chromebook laptops were made available for them to borrow at no cost for the remainder of the semester and were equipped with all applications needed to participate in online learning. But because some students do not have online access at home, an immediate needs grant was made available to purchase internet access through the end of the semester. A majority of those grant funds, however, are being used to assist students with their basic needs. The Cleveland Foundation's Lake-Geauga Fund has generously provided additional funding for the grant to help students with food insecurities.
"This grant was established for this very type of unexpected financial hardship that would prevent some students from completing the semester," said Beverage. "For the students who work part-time at area retailers, restaurants, and other places that are now closed, their source of income is gone."
The grant is administered through The Lakeland Foundation. Because of the increase in the amount of assistance being sought by students, donations are being accepted online at lakelandcc.edu/foundation.