Gresham charter school gives gloves, other wear to safeguard frontline health care workers in pandemic

COURTESY PHOTO: CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING - Greshams Center for Advanced Learning donated personal protective gear to a hospital as part of the effort to stanch the increase in the cases of novel corona virus.

The Center for Advanced Learning, a Gresham charter high school with a robust health sciences program, donated protective medical gear including masks and gloves to Portland's Legacy Emanuel Medical Center as part of the effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Personal protective equipment protects the front line and they need all the help we can give," said Jessica Gallagher, chair of CAL's health sciences department.

The donation was made before Gov. Kate Brown's announcement on Wednesday, March 18, that all health care providers including doctors, veterinarians and dentists stop all non-emergency procedures in order to preserve protective equipment for health care workers.

CAL's Gallagher connected with CAL and Gresham High School graduate Shelby Clifford, who is now an emergency room nurse at Emanuel to discuss the donation.

COURTESY PHOTO: CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING - Grateful Legacy Emanuel employees accept the donation of personal protective equipment from Gresham's Center for Advanced Learning. She talked with CAL's executive director, Steve Day, and the other health-profession teachers and all supported the gift.

CAL students, like others across the state, will not be back to school until at least April 28 as part of the effort to tamp down the spread of the coronavirus. But, Gallagher is sure they will be supportive of the donation.

"The students will be incredibly happy about this. They are the future of health care," Gallagher said.

COURTESY PHOTO: CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING - Some of CALs health sciences students showing off their protective gear before the the novel corona virus pandemic.

The donation included hundreds of gowns, 10 cases of sterile and non-sterile gloves, about 500 masks and hair and shoe covers. Everything was sealed in its original packaging.

The CAL teachers recognized that they might not be able to restock the items for quite some time, but they felt "it was more important for our health care professionals to be protected. We'll figure out the restocking in the future," Gallagher said.

CAL health sciences students use much of the donated gear in April, and now they won't be in school then. April is when they learn to "don and doff" protective gear in the appropriate way to most carefully protect patients.

Gallagher is hoping to connect with other high schools with medical sciences programs such as David Douglas High School and Portland's Benson High School to see if they would like to follow suit.

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