Eastern Niagara Hospital was recently awarded a $79,000 grant from Verizon Media Company for PPE equipment as well as critical staff.
Carolyn Moore, director of community relations, said the hospital is doing well financially, thanks in part to elective surgeries resuming at ENH, but that it still cost the hospital about $100,000 to purchase the required amount of PPE.
“Most recently ENH purchased over 30,000 masks and 10,000 disposable gowns,” Moore wrote. “When a shortage of disposable gowns was indicated across the state, EH also purchased 1,100 cloth reusable gowns.”
Moore also wrote that employees have been positioned as screeners at the entrance of the facility.
“The cost of just the items noted above was close to $100,000,” Moore continued. “ENH also needs to resupply its PPE on an ongoing basis, as all hospitals in New York state are required to maintain a 90-day supply personal protective equipment in preparation of an potential re-surge of the virus.”
The reason PPE is so expensive, said Moore, is that the demand from the pandemic has escalated that cost.
“The public should be assured they will be safe the minute they enter our doors,” Anne McCaffrey, president and CEO of ENH was quoted by Moore. “We have done extremely well in our efforts and will continue to do so in the months ahead. We were grateful at the start of the pandemic for the numerous donations of PPE and support we received from the community. … During the height of the pandemic earlier this spring, our staff was utilizing up to 300 disposable gowns a day, as well as thousands of masks, gloves and gowns. Although we are relieved ENH has not had any COVID positive patient in over eight weeks, it’s still necessary for our caregivers to take all necessary precautions. It’s imperative for us to maintain a safe environment for patients, visitors and employees in all areas of our facilities.”
Congressman Chris Jacobs also wrote a letter, with other members of Congress, to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling for additional funds from the Public Health Services and Support Emergency Fund for ENH and other health systems.
Jacobs was not available to comment on the matter.