March 24, 2020
VINCENNES, Ind. – Pleas from medical workers in desperate need of
supplies can be heard around the nation, including the communities
surrounding Vincennes University. VU’s faculty and staff are assisting
in the fight against COVID-19 by helping those who are on the front
lines of the coronavirus battle.
The College of Health Sciences and Human Performance has donated
hundreds of masks, including 420 N95 respirators, gowns, gloves, shoe
covers, sterile cleaning products, and other supplies to medical
professionals at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind. and
Daviess Community Hospital in Washington, Ind.
“We greatly appreciate the generous donation of gowns and masks from
VU. Our number one priority is to keep the employees, patients, and
community safe. With the donation of PPE from our valued partner, our
employees will be able to protect themselves so that they can provide
the necessary care for our patients. Thank you for your support in
helping us fight this battle. Together we will win!" Daviess
Community Hospital CEO Tracy Conroy remarked.
VU faculty scoured labs and classrooms last weekend for items to
donate. Their search yielded enough donations to fill the beds of two
The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has left medical
professionals without these necessities. “During this time where
there is so much unknown, it is an exhilarating feeling to know that
we came together and did something that needed to be done to help our
front line healthcare workers, many of which are our graduates,” Dean
of VU’s College of Health Sciences and Human Performance Michelle
“During this time, the community needs to know that they’re there for
each other. Whether it’s an institution, whether it’s a department,
whether it’s simply one-to-one, we just need to know that we’ve got
each other’s backs.”
Medical supplies were donated by programs in VU’s College of Health
Sciences and Human Performance, which includes Pharmacy Technology,
Funeral Service Education, Health Information Management, Practical
Nursing, Associate Nursing, RN to BSN, Physical Therapist Assistant,
Surgical Technology, and Kinesiology and Sport/Health & Physical Education.
“We teach at the college, but all of us come from industry,” Pharmacy
Technology Chair Karen O’Connor said. “We’re all experienced in the
field and work side jobs in those fields. We know how much these
supplies are needed. Even though our full-time job is at VU, our
all-time job is always healthcare.
“People go into the healthcare field because
they have a passion to help people. Healthcare is a community of
people that band together to help each other and we do what we need to do.”
O’Connor is also sewing masks and donating them to pharmacy and
grocery store employees. The masks are doubled layered and washable,
and made out of deconstructed unused scrubs.
Other VU faculty are doing their part to help keep medical workers
protected, including Susan Brocksmith, Department Chair for VU’s
Agribusiness and Cosmetology programs. She is working with a group to
make 250 masks that will go to Good Samaritan. She’s also collecting
and donating cleaning supplies to cancer patients, who are fearful of
going out in public at this time.
“I was raised that our rent on earth is through the service that we
give back to others,” Brocksmith said. “We all have different things
in our lives that we face and this is one small contribution I can do.
I have a daughter and son-in-law in Wisconsin in their residency
programs and they are on the front lines right now fighting this. This
is what I can do locally because I can’t do anything to help them up there.”
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. VU offers online degrees and classes to
students who need access to college courses and flexibility through
its Distance Education.
A leader in dual credit and career and technical education statewide,
VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom