Hudson Valley Community College Responding to COVID-19 Outbreak with Community Outreach Effort
With faculty and staff working remotely from home and starting classes in an online or distance learning format this week, Hudson Valley Community College is doing its part to assist the greater community in responding to COVID-19.
“As our faculty and staff return to instruction after an extended break, we are also responding to the needs of our greater community,” said Hudson Valley President Roger A. Ramsammy. “Community leaders have been reaching out to us from all corners of the Capital Region, and as a community resource we’re doing everything we can to help.”
Emergency Point of Distribution on Campus
When the Rensselaer County Emergency Operations Center was activated earlier in the month, the college became an official Point of Distribution (POD) for emergency medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be needed by public safety departments and other agencies in the county.
“We’re doing everything possible during this unprecedented pandemic to protect the health of our community, and we’re proud to partner with Hudson Valley to ensure our first-responders have access to the protective equipment and supplies they need to care for the residents of Rensselaer County. We have planned for the campus to serve as an essential point of distribution during an emergency event for several years, and our planning efforts are making a big difference right now,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin.
Police, fire and EMS departments within the county are able to order and pick up essential supplies. College employees are assigned to staff this POD and are on hand to distribute to official agency and emergency personnel. This distribution is not for the general public.
The college’s Nursing and Dental Hygiene programs are supporting the county with donations of PPE. Planned equipment donations includes 200 surgical gowns; 37 boxes of gloves; 24 goggle frames with disposable lenses; six protective eye-wear sets with side shields; and 10 boxes of facial masks.
Respiratory Care Students on Front Lines
Because of COVID 19’s impact on the respiratory system, respiratory therapists will be critical to fighting the symptoms of the virus. The college’s senior Respiratory Care students will be continuing their clinical rounds in the coming weeks at Albany Medical Center, St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Northeast Center for Rehabilitation. At least 75 percent of the region’s respiratory therapists were educated at the Hudson Valley program.
College’s Manufacturing Program Ramps Up for Face Shield Production
Although still in its early stages, the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program is prototyping and preparing to manufacture plastic face shields for the staff at St. Peter’s Health Partners, as they have a critical shortage of PPE. Components will be created in the college’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills building.
Emergency Fund Established
A COVID-19 Emergency Fund has been established through the college Foundation to assist, students, faculty and staff. The fund, which was matched by the college’s Faculty Student Association and Student Senate, has enabled the college to purchase new and refurbished laptops and other needed hardware and software that are being loaned out, allowing students to continue their studies online and faculty and staff to continue to work from home remotely.