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Penn State Health accepts drop-off donations of key supplies; here's how to help and what to give

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Penn State Health is accepting drop-off donations of key supplies from the community at Penn State Health Center, 175 Crystal A Drive, Hershey.

“As we face an unprecedented and challenging time, not just in our community but across the world, I have been encouraged by the kindness, generosity and collaboration that demonstrate our shared commitment to putting the needs of others ahead of our own,” Steve Massini, Penn State Health CEO, said in a press release.

"Many businesses, civic organizations and individual members of the community have asked if they can donate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to help us respond to COVID-19,” Massini said. “While Penn State Health currently has what we need to protect our health care workers and care for our patients, events are changing rapidly and we know we could experience shortage issues in the future. We are pleased to announce that we have begun accepting drop-off donations of critical supplies from the community. We would like to thank everyone for their tremendous support during this evolving outbreak.”

Donors will not need to get out of their cars if they prefer not to. Staff will maintain a safe distance from donors, will wear gloves and regularly clean their hands. Donors will be asked to provide basic contact information and may request a receipt for their records. There is no need to call ahead.

Penn State Health has plans in place to manage patients with special illnesses while safeguarding patients, hospital visitors, health care workers and the community at large during the coronavirus pandemic.

To ensure doctors, nurses and other staff treating COVID-19 patients remain safe and healthy, Penn State Health has distributed PPE and patient hygiene kits to all clinic and practice sites. In addition, Penn State Health continues to adopt best practices.

“We expect the number of coronavirus patients needing hospitalization to increase over the coming weeks, and we are calling on the public to help us keep our health care workers safe,’’ Massini said. “Protecting everyone on the frontlines of patient care is crucial to maintaining the health of our community.’’

Residents are reminded to follow the changing guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office about leaving their homes for nonessential travel. Individuals are encouraged to consolidate their essential trips with drop-off activities.

What to donate

New or unused (items in sealed boxes are preferred):

• Disposable latex-free medical exam gloves

• PPE masks: ear loop Or tie; surgical or medical

• PPE Masks: N95 respirators

• Commercially made disposable disinfecting wipes — germicidal with bleach

• Commercially made disinfecting wipes with more than 70 percent alcohol

• Commercially-made hand sanitizer and hand soap

What not to donate

Donations of other items such as medications, food, blankets, medical equipment or other supplies are not needed at this time. If that changes, an announcement will be made.

When to donate

• 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.

• Additional hours may be announced in the future.

Frequently asked questions

Is Penn State Health accepting home-sewn reusable masks?

We are not accepting homemade masks at this time. Faculty and staff in Penn State College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Innovation are in the process of developing a mask prototype that will require assembly of locally manufactured parts, and we will be looking for community hands to do that assembly. We are developing guidance for the community that we will be sharing shortly.

Do I need to fill out a form?

An intake form is available online and at each drop-off site. Individuals are encouraged to fill it out ahead of time to expedite the process.

Are these donations tax-deductible?

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

What will you do with items you are unable to use?

We have been specific about the list of supplies that we can accept in order to prevent receiving donations that are not needed at this time.

Is Penn State Health facing a critical shortage of key supplies?

While we currently have what we need to protect our health care workers and care for our patients, we know we could experience long-term shortage issues so we have begun accepting drop-off donations of critical supplies from the community.

Does Penn State Health need volunteers to help?

Faculty and staff in Penn State College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Innovation are in the process of developing a mask prototype that will require assembly of locally manufactured parts, and we will be looking for community hands to do that assembly. We are developing guidance for the community that we will be sharing shortly.

Is making a donation an essential activity?

Residents are reminded to follow the changing guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office about nonessential travel. Individuals are encouraged to consolidate their essential trips with drop-off activities.

What if I’d like to make a monetary donation?

Visit engage.pennstatehealth.org/covid19 for information about how to make a monetary donation.