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DePaul University nurses donate personal protection equipment to local hospitals

Faculty gather items from School of Nursing, Theatre School, health sciences and biology

Supply donation
DePaul's Liz Aquino delivers unused medical supplies to Sinai System and Norwegian American Hospital. (Image courtesy of Liz Aquino)
​​​CHICAGO — As health care providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic face a national shortage of medical supplies, DePaul University’s School of Nursing   is leading an effort to donate personal protective equipment to local area hospitals in need. 

On March 21, DePaul nursing faculty and staff packed up unused simulation lab supplies, including 1,800 sterile gloves, 1,150 examination gloves, 350 biohazard bags, 200 gowns, 150 face masks and 40 face shields. DePaul’s Theatre School also donated face masks from its scene and prop shop. Biology and Health Sciences faculty donated 12,000 pairs of gloves and 50 disposable lab coats. 

“Hospitals and those who are helping gravely ill patients on the front lines cannot get access to the supplies they need,” said 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.” ​

Liz Aquino and Karlis Butler gather unused medical supplies to donate to local hospitals. (Image courtesy of Liz Aquino)
DePaul donated many of 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. Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Illinois, also received a donation of supplies. 

“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,” said Elizabeth Aquino, associate director of the DePaul Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice Program and president of the American Nurses Association in Illinois. 

Aquino joined a 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. Sarah Connolly, a biology and health sciences faculty member, also coordinated a donation. 

Supply donation
Supplies loaded up for delivery to local hospitals. (Image courtesy of Liz Aquino)
“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 said. “As the president of the American Nurses Association-Illinois, I am encouraging other colleges and schools both statewide and nationally to follow DePaul’s example and make donations to their local hospitals.” 


Elizabeth Aquino ​

Media contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews