FAMU donates ventilators to TMH

FAMU donated four ventilators to TMH on Wednesday. Photo by Jazmyne Simmons

“Excellence with caring” is FAMU’s motto.

During a global pandemic, the Florida A&M School of Allied Health & Health Sciences lent a helping hand with donations of four ventilators to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, earlier this week.

In a statement released by FAMU communications, Dean Cynthia Hughes Harris said she was happy to assist in a time of crisis.

“We have ventilators. We said, ‘Here, take them, use them.’ That’s a good feeling. The sad part is the crisis that we’re in, the reason we have extended ourselves.” Hughes Harris said.

Ashza Hampton, a student in Allied Health Sciences, understands that ventilators are the last thing to save lives.

“Especially now in this pandemic, the only thing running to save lives right now are ventilators. I think it was an amazing thing for the lab to be able to donate our resources to save more lives in our community,” said Hampton. “Being that we are no longer having in-person class time we no longer have use for them, while there are lives that depend on them.”

According to Mary Simmons, director of FAMU’s Cardiopulmonary Science Program, the idea for the donation came about after the local push for more testing in Tallahassee.

“Consider the number of testing [the city of Tallahassee] is doing right now. [Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare] wants to be prepared just in case,” Simmons said. “We may get an influx of patients that need ventilators, and we don’t want to wait until that happens.”

The Allied Health Sciences and nursing programs at FAMU have a clinical partnership with TMH.

Yasmine Yelverton, a nursing major, sees the importance of the donation that took place Wednesday.

“It is great to see my school helping in a national crisis for a local hospital,” said Yelverton. “In the health profession, it is always about being prepared for any emergency, and this is what they teach [students] here.”

Simmons did not disclose how long the hospital would keep the four ventilators, but the cost of the equipment came out of the school budget.

“Working on ventilators in the lab has prepared me for a great understanding of my future career. I believe that having such a great hands-on experience will allow me to fully understand how to properly treat various patients and how to treat their present illnesses,” Hampton said.

According to Simmons, ventilators can cost up to $30,000 or more. The school purchased them for students in a simulation lab.

The School of Allied Health Sciences will be participating in the daily COVID-19 testing at Bragg Memorial Stadium. It is free and gets underway Saturday at 9 a.m.