Last week, WSHA purchased 150,000 badly needed N95 masks and began shipping them to 42 hospitals and health systems across Washington. Health care leaders agreed that the hospitals most in need should receive the first shipments – many hospitals declined their share so additional masks could go to other hospitals more in need of PPE to ensure their ability to care for patients.
We will continue to ship masks to hospitals with the greatest need across the state. WSHA surveyed member hospitals to determine the size of the shipments and order of the recipients. Funding for the masks came from a $3.69 million grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
The operation represents the latest effort by the health care community to work collaboratively to ensure facilities most in need of PPE receive it first. It is also in large part due to the dedicated work of WSHA CFO Eric Lewis, who joined our senior leadership team during the pandemic and has embraced his role supporting WSHA members.
This is a moment of hope and inspiration during this pandemic. Vaccines and PPE are the keys to keeping our health care workers safe. Our health care system and frontline workers have been pushed to the limit, but the collaboration on N95s shows the unfailing commitment of our health care community to work together and take care of one another. We’re all in this together and we need to work together to care for our friends, family and neighbors.