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When demand for surgical masks skyrocketed nationally a few weeks ago and hospital supply chains experienced a backlog, Kearney Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Adrienne Olson turned to a familiar contact: her dad.
Olson asked her father, Bill Carney, Assistant Professor at Creighton School of Dentistry if the school had any spare protective materials to offer, since the dental school had closed its clinical facilities except for acute care cases.
Dr. Carney went to work and recruited the school’s inventory specialists and secured 3,600 level three surgical masks for KRMC at-cost.
Level three masks have a lower filtration rate than N95 respirators, but says Olson they’re useful for medical workers who have contact with non-COVID-19 patients. Said Olson, “These masks give us a little bit more peace of mind.”
All staff members at Kearney Regional Medical Center wear surgical masks daily and may change masks once or twice a day if they get soiled or damaged. This amounts to thousands of masks needed per week. Currently the supply of surgical masks and N95 masks at KRMC is plentiful and supplies are not as difficult to secure as they were when Olson originally reached out to Creighton.
The medical center has also been able to help out others during this pandemic by providing overflow protective gear to area nursing homes and even the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department recently. Said Olson, “We are grateful for the outpouring of community support we’ve received, and we’re happy to be able to do our part to help out others who may have needs for protective equipment and unable to secure those items.”