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Graduation gowns being collected to help PPE shortage

Posted at 1:46 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 13:46:43-04

Hospitals and medical facilities across the nation are still facing shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

Than Moore, a physician assistant in Vermont, is trying to help close that gap, by shipping something high school and college seniors don't expect to be needing much right now.

"Seeing and learning about some of my colleagues who are on the front lines, facing the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been trying to brainstorm ideas to help," said Moore.

Moore had an idea to help with the shortage of personal protective equipment and started Gowns4Good.

"We’re arranging the coordination of the donation from either seniors that are graduating from high school, university, college, that have postponed or canceled graduations or else alums that have graduation gowns in their closets that are collecting dust," said Moore.

He says they’re seeing nurses and doctors without PPE turning to alternatives like garbage bags. The problem is they lack sleeves and any type of protection below the waist. The graduation gown is full-length and offers more of a protective barrier.

"When it boils down to it, where we’re just looking for something to protect the individual health care worker from the patient and then transmitting the disease from room to room, so it’ll allow them to have something extra on," said Moore.

Gowns4Good is based in Vermont, but the gowns are not being sent to just hospitals in the Northeast. Dozens of facilities across the country are asking for tens of thousands of gowns.

"The big centers in California, New York, Washington, have been hit the hardest with their escalating death totals. We’re looking at trying to distribute our goods to them but also these other medical facilities nationwide that are reaching out,” Moore said. “We have people from all over the country that are begging and clinging for our gowns. We’re just trying to get them there as fast as we can.”

They’re going to hospitals of various sizes, local clinics, and to assisted living facilities.

All you have to do to donate is pack up your clean graduation gown and ship it to one of the facilities listed on the Gowns4Good website.

If you're a senior and donate your gown before your postponed graduation ceremony, you'll receive a sticker to put on top of your cap to signify that you've donated your gown.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.