By Aila Boyd
As a result of increased use of personal protective equipment in hospitals related to COVID-19, Carilion Clinic has found itself facing a shortage of safety goggles. One of the ways that it is working to reduce the shortage is by reaching out to local school divisions to see if they are willing to donate their unused supplies of goggles.
On March 31, Dr. Lisa Chen, superintendent of Botetourt County Public Schools, received an email from Dr. Kevin Broyles, the medical director of operations for adult medicine for Carilion Clinic’s Emergency Department, inquiring about the division’s surplus supply of goggles.
“Locally, we are not immune to this shortage,” Broyles said in his email. “We find ourselves close to critical levels of many items. Theses shortages extend all the way to the manufacturers. Eye protection is one of these essential items.”
Given that schools throughout Virginia are closed for the remainder of the school year, the division said that it didn’t need the 335 pairs of goggles that it had on hand for science classes and labs.
“Immediately, we all pitched in. I am so proud of my principals. Our doctors and nurses do not have the masks they need or protective eyewear. We need to help them as much as we can,” Chen said.
Last Friday, Broyles picked up the goggles from Chen at the division’s Central Office. The donated goggles will be used in the emergency rooms at Carilion Roanoke Memorial, Carilion Stonewell Jackson Hospital, Carilion Franklin Memorial, Carilion Giles Community Hospital, and Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital.
Going forward, Chen said that she will be working with Shaun Sparks, the principal of Botetourt Technical and Education Center, to see what else can be donated.