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CHS Employee Donates Needed Safety Equipment To Mercy Medical Center

March 30, 2020
Tyvek Hood Donation

Catholic Health Services’s (CHS) Mercy Medical Center’s Assistant Director of Radiology and Imaging Colleen Vandermark has witnessed the effect the nationwide shortage of supplies caused by COVID-19. To alleviate the shortage, Colleen, her sons and their friends decided to help.

The team researched and discovered that they could make hoods out of Tyvek material, which are reusable and safe. Hospital infection prevention control experts say these hoods could help with conserving other supplies as doctors and nurses wouldn’t have to wear face shields or eyewear when wearing them. The Tyvek hoods are especially useful, allowing health care workers to preserve the integrity of the N95 mask longer because the hoods offer full coverage.

As of this week, they have constructed over 100 Tyvek hoods which have been distributed to the medical staff at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Center. They are made out of Tyvek, duct tape and page protectors.

“During this national shortage, it truly takes a village. I’m so thankful to Colleen, her sons and their friends for going above and beyond to help keep us all safe. We are blessed to have such caring employees and members of our community,” said CHS’s President of Mercy Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital Peter Scaminaci.

Tyvek offers superior protection against a variety of hazards, including liquid, oils, chemicals, airborne elements and even tiny dust particles and fibers. The material is made from high-density polythene fibers that offer high levels of resistance to wear and tear. It allows for moisture to get out but not in, preventing any droplets from getting through the hoods.

"As a health care worker, I wanted to do more during these trying times. My boys and their friends wanted to help lessen the stress in the communities we live and work in. That’s when we came together to create these hoods. We are so happy they have been well received," said Colleen Vandermark.

Colleen, her sons, Kevin and Brian Vandermark, and their friends, Thomas Ammirati, Michael Fritz and Thomas Kelly, plan to continue to construct these hoods and will be donating them to CHS hospitals throughout Long Island.