UMass Lowell donates protective equipment to health care organizations, first responders

Face shields, gloves and gowns like the ones shown being worn here by UMass Lowell students and faculty were among the personal protective equipment recently donated by the university to local hospitals, health organizations and first responders. Shown from left are students Lindsay McGrail and Benedicta Agyemang-Brantuo, Assistant Teaching Prof. Arlee Dulak and student Rachely Romero.

LOWELL — As the state works to curb the spread of COVID-19, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is doing its part to help shore up the gap in protective equipment for workers on the front lines.

The university announced in a news release that the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences and the Kennedy College of Sciences recently donated face shields, masks, gloves, surgical gowns, eyewear and other gear to area organizations amid a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) that has affected health care professionals and first responders across the country.

In the College of Health Sciences, much of the donated equipment was previously being used in university labs, a need that is no longer present now that the campus has shifted to remote learning. Donations from the medical laboratory sciences program, physical therapy and kinesiology program and the Solomont School of Nursing have been delivered to Lowell General Hospital and Lowell Community Health Center.

“This highly contagious and fast-moving pandemic shows no mercy for health-care professionals who need to care for sick patients,” Shortie McKinney, dean of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, said in the release.

In the Kennedy College of Health Sciences, the chemistry and biological sciences departments made donations of isopropyl alcohol, disposable gowns and about 40,000 gloves to Lowell General Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital and the Greater Lawrence Family Health Clinic, according to the release.

The university’s Office of Life Safety and Emergency Management also recently donated protective gear such as Tyvek suits, face shields, masks, and gloves to first responders in the city of Lowell.

“I’ve been doing emergency response for a long time and find that crises tend to bring out the best in people and that’s what’s happening at UMass Lowell,” Richard Wood, director of life safety and emergency management, said in the release. “We continue to work directly with the city of Lowell Emergency Operations Center and state officials to provide personal protection equipment to those who need it.”