The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) has purchased 300,000 disposable surgical masks from Dingyi North America. The masks arrived in Washington today from China. WSHA will begin distributing the supplies to hospitals, long-term care facilities and organizations serving homeless individuals across the state beginning Monday, April 13. WSHA is selling the masks to these facilities at cost and donating the costs of logistics and transportation. WSHA staff members will deliver the masks to communities while maintaining social distancing.
Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) has been one of the most challenging issues for the health care community nationwide. Keeping health care teams safe is WSHA’s top priority, and the purchase of PPE is an unprecedented step for the association.
“WSHA has never imported or distributed supplies to its members or other organizations,” said Cassie Sauer, WSHA president and CEO. “We had no idea how to do it, but we made it happen nonetheless. Our hospitals and other care providers are desperate for supplies to keep staff and patients safe – our actions were fueled by this desperation. We were absolutely thrilled to see these lifesaving masks arrive.”
WSHA has ordered hundreds of thousands of additional masks from Dingyi North America and Bartell Drugs that will arrive in the next two weeks for delivery across the state.
WSHA would like to give a special thanks to Kaiser Permanente, which is allowing WSHA to use its warehouse in Renton, Wash.; Dingyi North America’s Rowland Thompson, who worked closely with WSHA to procure the supplies; and King County Department of Health Epidemiologist Lin Song, who translated Mandarin Chinese printed on some of the boxes.
Cassie Sauer is available for an interview about the deliveries, and WSHA will distribute additional information with the locations and times of deliveries.