To combat the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to Sioux Falls-area health care providers, students at the medical school organized a drive to collect and distribute protective equipment.
"My classmates and I were thrilled with the response from Sioux Falls. We are humbled to be a member of this community that has such a passion and love for their health care providers." - Natalie Walter, Pillar 3 Student
Led by fourth-year students Ahna Buntrock and Natalie Walter, the students established donation acceptance centers at four Sioux Falls locations – a Walmart store, Avera Fitness Center, Great Plains Zoo and the downtown public library – and each center, open daily for one intensive week, was staffed by a medical student. To attract donations, the students sought publicity through local radio and television stations, and they directly contacted relevant businesses in the community such as construction companies, nail salons and veterinary clinics.
"We knew it was best for the patients and health care providers that we remained out of the hospitals to continue to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). Medical students across the country have come up with ideas to help the medical community while remaining outside the hospital." - Ahna Buntrock, Pillar 3 student
And the donations rolled in! Over 20,000 gloves and nearly 2,000 masks were donated to Sioux Falls health care providers.