COVID-19 has unquestionably led to one of the most significant health crises of modern times. Our teams on the front lines have been called to serve, truly living up to the Bon Secours mission of giving good help to those in need with their selfless dedication during these difficult times.
However, even health care workers who aren’t necessarily at the bedside are finding ways to make a difference. Take Bon Secours Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth King. Between virtual visits with her patients, she’s been making supplies to help meet the increasing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).
While the health system currently has plenty of PPE for use, the homemade supplies donated by the Kings are being held in reserve in case a need arises. Elizabeth has been sewing masks.
“Finding a way to be helpful has really been helpful for us,” she shares.
Her husband took their efforts a step further, suggesting they use Pepsi® bottles to make face shields that could be worn over the masks, as an additional layer of protection. After testing out his idea, Elizabeth contacted the soda company with a photo of their creation, hoping they’d donate empty bottles to the project.
“They responded right away, and sent me 50 free empty bottles,” she recalls.
In fact, Pepsi® was so impressed with the idea that the company shared King’s photo of the prototype face shield with McLeod Health in Florence, SC and requests for more bottle donations came pouring in as the idea spread.
“When three different hospital systems contacted us about providing two-liter bottles in order to make medical face shields, we were more than happy to assist,” says Jeff Stevens, CEO of Carolina Canners, Inc., a production co-op for several independent Pepsi® bottlers in North and South Carolina. “It really warmed my heart to know that, in addition to providing much needed beverages for families in our communities during this difficult time, we could offer assistance to local medical professionals. They truly are the heroes, and we feel honored to help them in any way.”
The company has since provided even more bottles to King, who credits her local community with making the project even more of a team effort.
“Everyone has been very gracious in donating materials,” Elizabeth says.
The Kings’ neighbor provided upholstery materials to make the ties for the shields, while Elizabeth’s husband was able to get Home Depot to donate plastic molding. Lowe’s contributed screws and washers to the cause. Elizabeth says the product is not only functional but is designed for re-use.
“The health and safety of our staff, providers and patients are our first priority. We regularly monitor current supplies and are resourcing from around the globe to ensure we have the PPE we need. It’s great to know we have people and businesses helping us think outside the box, and generously donating their time, talent and materials to help protect those on the front lines,” says McKenzie Jackson, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Supply Chain Director.
At Bon Secours, we are fortunate to have PPE supplies at this time. If you know of an organization that doesn’t have enough PPE, consider reaching out them and donating.
Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.