With COVID-19 cases still rising in north Texas, health care providers’ need for personal protective equipment has also risen. The smaller rural medical facilities sometimes find themselves at the bottom of the list for distribution.
To help these smaller health care providers, the north Texas area health education center at Midwestern State University has purchased approximately $31,250 in personal protective equipment to distribute to those facilities. These supplies will go to Nocona General Hospital in Nocona and Faith Community Clinic in Bowie in Montague County, along with several entities in neighboring counties.
The area health education center is a federal grant program that opened in the fall of 2019 at MSU Texas under the direction of the Texas Tech University health sciences center. One of the center’s main missions is to recruit, educate and sustain a health professions workforce committed to underserved and rural populations.
The funds used to purchase the PPE were intended for a large symposium that would connect students with scholarship opportunities and health care providers, but the threat of COVID-19 canceled those plans.
“It was a use it or lose it moment,” said Charis Rhoades, community health educator and coordinator for the health education center. “We had to commit to a change of plans and find out how we could still help our rural clinics.” The supplies were ordered in April, but with nationwide shortages and much of the equipment on back order, they have just now come in. Personnel will deliver the supplies throughout the end of July.
Read the full story in the weekend News.