A drive is being launched by doctors and specialists across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to help them in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Stacy Burton and Dr. Imran Ansari say they are in a “desperate need of supplies” and are urging the public to think creatively about supply donations.
The wish list includes gloves, gowns, goggles, face shields, cleaning products and hand sanitizer.
“Dentist offices, auto shops, hockey equipment suppliers, cosmetic schools and vets are all coming forward to help, but we need more supplies and more partners to contribute,” said Dr. Burton.
“Maybe you may know of a business that has a distribution channel they can access, or even create at their own warehouse. It’s time to think about new options. Anything is better than nothing,” added the doctor.
Many family practices have begun offering virtual appointments with patients to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, some patients, said Dr. Ansari, such as seniors or those who are homeless, may not be able to access online consults or may simply require to be seen in-person due to their medical conditions.
In those cases, a dwindling supply of basic items such as gloves and hand sanitizer is putting family doctors, specialists, their staff and patients at an increased risk of contracting the virus, he said.
“This crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime. We are working flat out to be there for our patients and their families. But we cannot do this alone,” added Dr. Burton.
The drive is being coordinated by the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, a nonprofit society that supports physicians in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to create positive change in the health care system.
“We know our community has a strong history of rallying together in time of need, and our supply drive for our COVID-19 urgent response is already, showing success,” said Treena Innes, the division’s executive director.
However, they need more, she added.
To help maximize the use of any supplies collected through the drive, a Primary Care Network Pop-up Clinic is also going to be set up later this week that will be open to family physicians and specialists across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
It will be a central location where the supplies can be pooled to be used more efficiently along with strict cleaning protocols.
Anyone with donations or leads on purchase opportunities for COVID-19 supplies, can contact the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found at divisionsbc.ca/ridge-meadows.