3 Ways to Help Fight COVID-19

In this global fight against COVID-19, every bit of help matters. From the scientists working to develop vaccines to the people sewing masks to restaurant owners sending meals to exhausted doctors and nurses — we’re all in this together.

At Medical Teams International, we have been blown away by the generosity of our supporters. Every gift helps slow the spread of this virus. Each of you are providing loving care during this difficult time – to our neighbors in the Pacific Northwest and to people in crisis around the world.

Choosing Hope

As one of the epicenters of the pandemic, the Pacific Northwest has seen cases skyrocket in a matter of weeks. Even if you haven’t personally been affected, chances are you know someone who has. Anxiety and fear seem ever-present.

And yet, we believe there is hope. At this unprecedented time, we’re seeing the world come together to protect the most vulnerable. We’re seeing the best in humanity – the most generosity, the most compassion, the most resilience.

And there’s hope because people like you are stepping up to meet the need. As Medical Teams staff and volunteers show up on the frontlines, we know we are not alone.

Meeting Challenges Head-on

With your help, Medical Teams is pivoting our entire organization to respond to this crisis. We are bringing the best of what we have to face this pandemic.

In the last three weeks, here are three main challenges we’ve seen in our communities. And the ways that you’re enabling a quick response to these challenges.

1. Medical Staff are Running Out of Protective Equipment

There is a dangerous shortage of masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Pacific Northwest. As a medical charity that ships life-saving supplies from our warehouse every week, we’re thankful we could fill some of these gaps for nurses and doctors.

We’ve emptied our warehouse and Mobile Dental Vans of PPE as needs arise. So far, your support has enabled us to transfer much-needed supplies across Oregon and Washington:

  • Providence St. Joseph Health received 2,500 gowns, 28,100 face masks, 20,600 exam gloves, and 6,400 safety glasses.
  • UW Medicine Emergency Department received 10,000 face masks.
  • Evergreen Hospital received 4,500 procedure masks and 900 N95 masks.
  • St. Charles Hospital received 5,000 face masks.

Lorna Mulkey, a nurse at St. Charles Hospital, expressed her gratitude for receiving masks.

“Our caregivers were absolutely thrilled to receive a mask on their way into work this morning. I cannot tell you the look of relief on each face. We have a team planning to be at the door at every shift change until we run out.  This was such an answer to prayer. Thank you. So many people have asked where we got these and we were able to say it was a generous donation from Medical Teams International.”

A Medical Teams staff member loads a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment for Providence Health and Services.

 

A nurse in Bend, OR posts her thanks to Medical Teams for providing masks.

2. Hospitals are Overwhelmed

As cases of COVID-19 surge, hospital emergency rooms cannot keep up with the influx of people who have possibly been infected with the virus. To meet the rapidly-growing demand, many hospitals have set up drive-thru screening sites.

We quickly repurposed our fleet of Mobile Dental vans to be put to work as support centers. One of these vans has been positioned in Issaquah, WA with Swedish Hospital to support the medical staff and give them a safe space to coordinate and oversee the screening site.

A Mobile Dental van serves as a support center for COVID-19 testing at Swedish Health Issaquah in Washington.

3. Vulnerable Populations Still Have Urgent Medical Needs

At the same time that hospitals are becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, other vulnerable people still have everyday urgent medical needs. This is another area that our Mobile Dental vans are being put to work.

Our normal Mobile Dental Clinics have been cancelled, but the governors of Oregon and Washington have deemed Medical Teams International as an essential service. This enables our team to run emergency dental clinics in the Pacific Northwest.

We provide emergency dental care for at-risk populations – screening them for COVID-19 ahead of their visit – while keeping them from taking up vital space in emergency rooms.

Volunteer dentist Dr. Todd Beck treats a patient at the Rolling Hills Community Church emergency dental clinic during the COVID-19 crisis.

We Are Stronger Together

Together, we can slow the spread of this virus. Together, we can be on the frontlines of this fight – helping health care workers stay safe with protective equipment, supporting testing, and ensuring the people who are most vulnerable – like those experiencing homelessness – don’t fall through the cracks during this crisis.

Jesus called us to love and care for our neighbors. During this uncertain time, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re acting as Jesus’ hands and feet as you care for the vulnerable in our community. You are providing a light of hope in this difficult time.


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