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DePaul donates personal protection equipment to local hospitals

DePaul donates supplies
DePaul's Liz Aquino, left, delivers unused medical supplies to Sinai System and Norwegian American Hospital. (Image courtesy of Liz Aquino)
As healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic face a national shortage of medical supplies, DePaul's School of Nursing is donating its personal protective equipment to local area hospitals in need.

DePaul donates supplies
Liz Aquino, left, and Karlis Butler ​gather unused medical supplies to donate to local hospitals. (Image courtesy of Liz Aquino)

On Saturday, March 21, DePaul faculty and staff packed up unused simulation lab supplies, including 1,800 sterile gloves, 1,150 examination gloves, 350 bio hazard bags, 200 gowns, 150 face masks and 40 face shields. DePaul's Theatre School also donated face masks from its scene and prop shop.

“Hospitals and those who are helping gravely ill patients on the front lines cannot get access to the supplies they need," says Jennifer Wronkiewicz, assistant dean for the College of Science and Health. “We believe donating our unused personal protection equipment is the right thing to support our local community. It's also one way to express our gratitude to DePaul's clinical partners for their support of student learning over the years."

DePaul donated the supplies to Sinai System and Norwegian American Hospital, a safety net hospital in Humboldt Park that serves uninsured and underinsured patients with limited resources.

“The PPE shortage is a major crisis our healthcare system is facing and that means our frontline healthcare providers are being put at risk of contracting and further spreading the coronavirus," says Elizabeth Aquino, associate director of DePaul's Master's Entry to Nursing Practice Program and president of the American Nurses Association in Illinois.

Aquino joined the DePaul team that organized and distributed supplies over the weekend. Other DePaul members included Karlis Butler, simulation support specialist; Susan Dawson, coordinator of clinical placements and Desma Mitchell, adjunct faculty.

“My heart breaks when I listen to nurses and doctors share their experiences and fear of risking their family's lives because they don't have the proper protection. Yet, they still go back to the hospital because their patients depend on the care they provide for them," Aquino says. “As the president of the American Nurses Association-Illinois, I am encouraging other colleges and schools both state-wide and nationally to follow DePaul's example and make donations to their local hospitals."

Are you aware of additional DePaul departments or divisions that are helping those in need during the COVID-19 crisis? Send your story to