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Front-line Health Workers in Maryland Receive Protective Gear in Continued Fight Against COVID-19

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) supports medical centers in the U.S. during the ongoing pandemic

Tara Wamack, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at White Oak Medical Center, suits up in new protective gear.

Tara Wamack, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at White Oak Medical Center, suits up in new protective gear. Photo by Andre Hastick

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in partnership with Adventist Community Services, (ACS), delivered more than 20 pallets of essential medical supplies and protective gear to healthcare workers at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The 180-bed acute care hospital has been serving critically ill patients affected by COVID-19 in the Montgomery and Prince George’s counties since the pandemic began.

“We are grateful to ADRA and Adventist Community Services for their donations of medical supplies,” said Anthony Stahl, president of Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, in thanks to the development and relief agency on July 17, 2020. “Supplies like gowns, masks, and gloves help White Oak Medical Center continue to protect our healthcare workers, care for the sick and meet the other healthcare needs of our community.”

Terry Forde, president and CEO for Adventist HealthCare, thanks ADRA and ACS for their support to the healthcare system during an unprecedented time.

Terry Forde, president and CEO for Adventist HealthCare, thanks ADRA and ACS for their support to the healthcare system during an unprecedented time.

Nationwide, demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies among hospitals and healthcare facilities has increased sharply as the pandemic sweeps across the nation. Access to these supplies can take up to 30 working days to be delivered, putting additional pressure on health systems and healthcare workers.

“It is a privilege to support our nation’s frontline healthcare workers. As a global humanitarian workforce, frontline work is essential in any crisis we do to aid those in need. Medical teams are among that network and we are grateful to our partners, like Adventist Community Services, to help ensure hospitals in the U.S. are well equipped as they serve so many affected by this pandemic,” said Michael Kruger, ADRA’s president.

“Our community depends on reliable, caring healthcare workers, especially in this situation. Always having the PPE to do our work safely allows us to focus on our patients,” added Beverly DeSouza, a respiratory therapist at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

The medical supplies, worth $2.3 million in value, are part of a partnership with Adventist Community Services (ACS) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America to support healthcare facilities in suburban areas facing severe shortages of protective supplies during the coronavirus crisis. The medical supplies include personal protective equipment such as face shields, goggles, and other essential garments for healthcare workers to reduce exposure to the coronavirus and other infectious agents.

“ADRA and Adventist Community Services have long been recognized for their vital relief work. Their mission and partnership are especially significant in this time of a global pandemic,” says Terry Forde, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “We appreciate the shipments of personal protective equipment over the last couple months as Adventist HealthCare continues to extend God’s care to COVID-19 patients in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region.”

ADRA and ACS Provide Medical Supplies to White Oak Medical Center

Healthcare facilities in Alaska, California, New York, and Texas have also received essential medical supplies from ADRA and ACS. Additionally, the relief agency provided more than 45,000 personal protective equipment and facemasks to Loma Linda University Health in California and partnered with Florida-based AdventHealth to ship tons of medical gear to hospitals in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, where medical centers are also facing severe supply shortages. ADRA will also deliver a new shipment of medical supplies, worth $4.5 million, to countries in Africa.

“It is truly a privilege to partner with ADRA and Adventist HealthCare for this unique opportunity. In Adventist Community Services, we are always seeking to have the most positive impact on our communities, especially in a time of need. This special partnership empowered us to share in-demand PPE supplies with a healthcare organization replete with courageous frontline workers that are saving lives every day,” says Chesapeake Conference ACS Director Ignacio Goya.

Michael Kruger, ADRA’s president, addresses administration and medical staff about the PPE shipment and the agency’s ongoing global response.

Michael Kruger, ADRA’s president, addresses administration, medical staff, and guests about the PPE shipment and the agency’s ongoing global response.

As part of a broader COVID-19 related response, ADRA has also committed $150,000 to provide food parcels to thousands of vulnerable families through ACS food pantries across the U.S.

"We are thankful for ‘Partnering in Mission’ with the ADRA International agency as we support the food relief efforts through the local ACS centers and their communities across the U.S.,” said Sung Kwon, NAD ACS executive director, of the ADRA food parcel funding gift.  

ADRA has been responding globally in nearly 70 countries, including the U.S., to help more than 2.7 million families and communities heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus health crisis. ADRA’s response teams are providing a range of humanitarian assistance that varies from country to country. This includes the distribution of PPEs, face masks, hand sanitizers, food kits, cash vouchers, as well as hygiene training. [See ADRA’s global response tracker: https://adra.org/adra-provides-hope-during-coronavirus.]

Maryland registered 75,016 COVID-19 cases, more than 3200 deaths, and 447 people hospitalized. The United States is number one worldwide with the most confirmed cases at more than 3.48 million. Globally, more than 13.4 million people have contracted coronavirus and 580 thousand have died according to the World Health Organization.*

Read more about ADRA’s response to COVID-19 or show your support by visiting ADRA.org Learn more about White Oak Medical Center’s response to COVID-19 at https://www.adventisthealthcare.com/news/.

* These numbers are likely to change as the pandemic sweeps the globe.

Up to 20 pallets of medical supplies were delivered to Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medi-cal Center.

Up to 20 pallets of medical supplies were delivered to Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

About Adventist Community Services

Adventist Community Services is the official community outreach ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the North American Division territories which comprises of Canada, the United States, Guam and Micronesia, and Bermuda. ACS serves the whole person, a concept known as holistic ministry whose mission is to “serve communities in Christ’s name.”

About Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center

Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center is a new, all-private 180-bed acute care hospital located in Silver Spring, Md. and part of Montgomery County-based Adventist HealthCare. White Oak Medical Center offers a full range of health services including a comprehensive and nationally-recognized heart program. White Oak Medical Center is a neighbor and research partner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and at the center of the emerging White Oak Science Gateway in Montgomery County, Maryland.