Originally posted by The Lane Report. Read full article here.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — SOS, a Louisville-based global health organization, has redirected all available medical supplies to local organizations, first responders, and healthcare facilities in the fight against COVID-19. While SOS is mostly known for re-distributing surplus medical supplies to medically impoverished communities in the developing world, the organization’s role in protecting lives here in Louisville has never been greater.
So far, SOS has prepared and donated over $500,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment to help local organizations fight COVID-19. This included personal protection items such as face masks, gowns, and gloves, and equipment like ventilators and infrared thermometers. In addition, SOS has donated hundreds of pounds of personal hygiene products to local homeless shelters. The full list of local organizations to whom SOS has provided critical supplies is:
- University of Louisville Department of Infectious Disease (in partnership with Louisville Metro Department of Health)
- Louisville Metro Police Department
- Louisville Metro Fire Department
- Regional Hospitals
- Clark County Health Department
- Home health agencies including Hosparus and VNA Health at Home
- Local Senior living facilities
- Health clinics in West Louisville
- Restaurants providing meals for laid-off restaurant workers
- Local homeless shelters
“SOS strategically provides medical supplies to those who are in the greatest need, and right now, that’s the people working to fight this pandemic in our own city,” says Denise Sears, president and CEO of SOS. “We’ve been able to move quickly, and without any funding, to address this emergency and meet the needs of our local healthcare workers, emergency responders, police, the homeless, and senior citizens.”
The nonprofit is operating on a skeleton crew of staff, and without their normal 15-20 daily volunteers who help sort supplies and keep operations moving.
“I am so proud of the SOS team who has worked tirelessly while maintaining social distancing,” said Sears. “Never once did they question the decision to redirect all supplies to our local community, even though they knew it could come with risks.”
SOS began responding to the coronavirus in February by deploying a shipment of protective medical gear weighing more than 10,000 pounds to assist health workers in China. The supplies were donated by SOS and their transportation to Shanghai was provided by UPS.