AMWA PPE Relief Efforts

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  • June 03, 2020

In ongoing efforts, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) has been working to secure hard-to-obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) for the benefit and safety of our members as well as groups in need in the larger medical community. Our efforts focus on arranging donations from Taiwan in partnership with The Robonauts and Operation Pegasus.

AMWA Helps Bring Much Needed PPE to Navajo Nation

In our latest efforts, AMWA collaborated with the Tzu Chi Foundation and Operation Pegasus to arrange a new donation of 80,000 face masks to the Navajo Nation with support from the hardware company, PLPC. The Tzu Chi Foundation has been active, during the pandemic, in helping to secure necessary PPE for healthcare workers. Likewise, AMWA, through the American Women’s Hospitals Service (AWHS), has participated in fundraising drives and mask production as well as through the employ of 3-D printing to create face shields at a time when supplies are hard to come by across the United States. Thanks to the generosity of the Tzu Chi Foundation, two large pallets of face masks were put on a plane for delivery to the Navajo Nation.

Dr. Murthy Leads Efforts to Donate Masks and Face Shields to Vulnerable Communities

Dr. Padmini Murthy, AMWA Global Health Lead, helped secure a donation of over 3000 cloth and surgical masks and 100 shields to needed medical facilities in New York. The donations were made possible due to the efforts of Ambassador HE Lily Hsu of TECO New York, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of NY, Mr. Alan Wei alumnus of Columbia University and his family from Taiwan.

These supplies helped meet a vital need in New York as well as other parts of the country, including the Navajo Nation, through relief efforts by Operation Pegasus.

CSSC Leaders & GAT crew (L-R) Top: Kevin Gochenour, Guardian Air Flight Nurse Garet Smith, Guardian Air Flight Paramedic Brad Catroneo, Guardian Air Pilot Jim Bailey, Tory Prynn, Dr. Stephanie Briney. Bottom: Nicole Segaline, Janell Tully, Cornel Popescu

Operation Pegasus is a program of the University of Arizona College of Medicine COVID-19 Student Service Corps (CSSC) founded by medical students and includes AMWA members Nicole Segaline, Janell Tully, Tory Prynn Kevin Gochenour, and Justin Zeien. The group has made a significant impact on local communities and has partnered with Guardian Air and Angel Wing Transport to fly supplies into Navajo Nation.

In addition, AMWA has partnered with The Robonauts to manufacture 3-D printed face shields. Of these, 240 have been shipped to Operation Pegasus for Navajo Nation relief efforts, including an additional donation of 100 face shields from by Dinsmore.

Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen McPaul (center) accepting Operation Pegasus donation

CSSC / Operation Pegasus Leaders, (L-R) left to right: Nicole Segaline, Janell Tully, Kevin Gochenour, Stephanie Briney DO, Cornel Popescu, and Tory Prynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMWA will also be partnering with Tzu Chi USA to deliver additional PPE to Navaho Nation. Tzu Chi has already been at the forefront of sending supplies to the various groups in the Navaho community, having sent over 18,000 masks, 300 face shields, and 700 goggles to Navajo Nation.

Tzu Chi  also known as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, is an international non-profit humanitarian organization with over 10 million volunteers and supporters worldwide. The heart of our organization (which was founded in 1966 by a Buddhist nun named Dharma Master Cheng Yen) is embedded in our name: in Chinese, “tzu” means compassion and “chi,” relief.  :

AMWA extends a sincere thanks and appreciation to these generous donors and partners for their help in making this all possible.

About the UACOM-P CSSC:
The mission of the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix Covid-19 Student Service Corps is to support Arizona health systems and their patients, workforce, and communities facing the COVID-19 pandemic. They have created a collaboration between multiple graduate and undergraduate programs throughout Arizona to bring students together to help during these times and currently have 22 programs up and running with over 150 volunteers. These programs include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) projects, food & resource programs, education projects, helplines, epidemiological projects, research, along with community outreach.
About Operation Pegasus: 
UACOM-P CSSC’s largest project to date is Operation Pegasus, an initiative to deliver medical and non-medical supplies to the Navajo Nation. They have been able to move large shipments of PPE through our partnership with Guardian Air Transport, who have donated their crew, aircraft and time to deliver these items.  To date, the group has had 6 flights that have delivered over 1,500 lbs of critical PPE to Navajo Nation, Hopi Nation and Gallup, NM. They have helped move another 5.5 tons of donations via ground travel. All of these donations have been obtained from local and corporate donors or made by members of the CSSC’s Covid-19 Innovation Team.
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