Blue Shield of California is giving $100,000 to nonprofit MedShare to fund essential medical equipment at community health clinics to help stem the spread of coronavirus.
For years, MedShare has distributed Personal Protective Equipment – facemasks and protective hospital gowns – as well as other medical supplies and equipment to underserved populations in times of crisis, both locally and around the world. Since the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global health emergency, MedShare has distributed nearly 3 million masks and more than 200,000 gowns, mostly in mainland China, where the virus first appeared.
Now that the coronavirus has spread to the United States, MedShare is ramping up its efforts to support local communities in need of medical supplies to fight the outbreak.
“Safety-net clinics are facing shortages of medical supplies, such as masks and gowns, which are necessary to protect patients and providers from virus spread,” said Dr. Malaika Stoll, senior medical director for Blue Shield of California. “Our work with MedShare addresses these shortages and aligns with our mission of providing care that is worthy of our family and friends.”
A recent needs assessment, conducted by the California Primary Care Association, found that 34 clinics in California need immediate assistance with this kind of critical medical equipment. That is in addition to several of the 50+ clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area that MedShare currently serves. Among the clinics in need are several shelters in the East Bay that serve homeless women and children.
Funds from Blue Shield will help cover MedShare’s transportation costs, as well as replenish the nonprofit’s supplies as the pandemic continues in the weeks and months ahead.
“Blue Shield’s generosity will not only enable MedShare to provide equipment to protect healthcare professionals who are serving our most vulnerable neighbors, but will also go a long way towards protecting the neighbors themselves,” said Eric Talbert, MedShare’s Western Regional Director.
MedShare is packaging up these supplies and will send them out to 46 clinics beginning this Friday, so they can start utilizing the masks and gowns early next week.
Click here to read more about how Blue Shield of California is responding to the coronavirus outbreak to ensure we can continue to deliver on our mission.
Click here If you would like to contribute to MedShare’s coronavirus response.