Campus Community / Science / Technology and Health

From parking to PPE, Seattle University is helping the local health care community to confront COVID

April 7, 2020

Seattle U is making its Broadway parking garage available to Harborview Medical Center and personal protective equipment from its Nursing program to Swedish Cherry Hill and a local retirement home

From parking spaces to PPE, Seattle University is helping the local health care community confront the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to remote learning for our students during Spring Quarter means nursing students will not be using the Clinical Performance Lab located at Swedish Cherry Hill Medical Center. Almost all of its Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)—masks, face shields, isolation gowns and hand sanitizer—were donated to Swedish. The hand sanitizer went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for use by nurses and parents, according to Carrie Miller, PhD, RN, the lab director and assistant professor in the College of Nursing.

Additionally, about 75 boxes of gloves were donated to Parkshore Senior Living.

“We will happily continue to donate PPE to help our frontline caregivers so long as we have supplies without depleting our own for student learning,” Miller says.

Seattle U is providing its Broadway parking structure to Harborview Medical Center to use as overflow parking for its essential medical and support staff, many of whom are driving to work instead of taking public transit to decrease their exposure to COVID-19.

“I can’t thank Seattle University enough for moving so swiftly to create parking for HMC employees who were riding the bus to get to work,” says Susan D. Reed, MD, attending physician at Harborview. “Our janitors, medical assistants, technicians and front desk staff almost all depend on public transportation to get to work. They put themselves at risk during this pandemic to care for our patients at the hospital. It was unthinkable to me that in addition to their occupational exposure, they were also having to potentially expose themselves to COVID-19 by riding the bus.”

“Supporting one another during this unprecedented crisis is critically important, especially medical providers who are on the frontline of care helping those most at risk and in need,” says President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. “We are glad to be able to do a small part that can make a significant difference.”

Through its Center for Community Engagement, Seattle U has also called on the campus community to support the local community in ways that also recognize the need for social distancing and to protect public health. A website containing many suggestions can be found here.