SLU-Madrid Donates Equipment to Assisted Living Facility
Every night at 8 p.m., Madrid’s residents step out onto their balconies and lean out the windows of their apartments to offer a city-wide round of applause to the health care professionals who are working tirelessly during this time of crisis. Despite the quarantine measures confining residents to their homes, locals seek out safe ways to remain connected and show gratitude. SLU-Madrid professor Tania de la Fuente, Ph.D., had an idea of how SLU-Madrid could do even more.
Like many other countries across the world, Spain is facing a critical shortage of personal protective equipment for medical professionals, such as gloves, medical masks, goggles, face shields, gowns and aprons. As program director for health sciences, de la Fuente helps manage SLU-Madrid’s science and nursing laboratories and was aware of the materials at the University's disposal which could be utilized to protect health care workers in a clinical setting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Spain’s nursing homes particularly hard, a tragedy that has been exacerbated as health care workers, many with inadequate protective equipment, have also become infected and unable to continue caring for residents. De la Fuente contacted Cottolengo del Padre Alegre, an assisted living facility (and nursing home) for adults with disabilities who are economically disadvantaged, located on the outskirts of Madrid. Run by nuns, this non-profit care facility has scarce resources even under normal conditions. SLU-Madrid has now donated the gloves, goggles, antibacterial gel and disposable laboratory coats used in its University laboratories for use at Cottolengo.
“Even the smallest gesture is important. The equipment in storage on campus can help medical professionals be safe as they care for others,” said SLU-Madrid Dean and Director Paul Vita, Ph.D. “SLU-Madrid remains committed to serving others, especially during these difficult times.”