IMAHelps plans to deliver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Eisenhower Medical Center at 2 p.m. Today
Up until three weeks ago, IMAHelps was planning to conduct a medical humanitarian mission to an impoverished area of Jamaica.
Then came the call on March 11 notifying the group that the Jamaican Ministry of Health was cancelling all foreign medical missions until further notice because of the escalating Coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, as the Coronavirus has marched across the U.S., hospitals in the Coachella Valley and across the nation have struggled to obtain even basic supplies like surgical masks, goggles and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep their doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals safe.
With this in mind, IMAHelps is donating all of the protective equipment it had assembled for its Jamaica mission to local hospitals, including Desert Regional Medical Center and the Desert Aids Project in Palm Springs, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, and Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda.
“Our mission this year is providing our local hospitals with the supplies they need to keep their healthcare professionals safe,” said Ines Allen, president and founder of Rancho Mirage-based IMAHelps, whose 130 volunteers have provided free healthcare to more than 100,000 impoverished patients in nine countries, including 2,500 patients who have received life-changing and life-saving surgeries over the past 20 years.
The IMAHelps donations were gathered by several IMAHelps volunteers, including Sharon Warner, a retired surgical technician from Desert Hospital, as well as Beth Buchan, supervisor of surgery scheduling at Eisenhower Medical Center, and Jennifer Padilla, an EMT from Loma Linda University Medical Center who now serves as a coordinator for IMAHelps missions.
At 2 p.m. today, IMAHelps is planning to donate a variety of supplies to Eisenhower Medical Center, including more than 300 disposable stethoscopes; more than 600 N95 masks; more than 150 disposable gowns; more than 2,000 shoe covers; as well as goggles and cleaning wipes.
Earlier today, IMAHelps donated more than 500 protective masks to Desert Hospital, including masks with plastic shields that can be used in emergency rooms and operating rooms. Nearly 100 cover gowns are also included in the donation.
IMAHelps donations to the Desert Aids Project, also made earlier today, included over 150 disposable stethoscopes as well as N95 masks; disposable simple masks; shoe covers, patient preparation pads; and cleaning wipes.
IMAHelps on Monday donated over 300 disposable stethoscopes to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
IMAHelps volunteers include Coachella Valley doctors in private practice as well as Emergency Room doctors, surgeons, nurses and support staff from Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center and other healthcare institutions across Southern California and the nation.
Ines Allen has led Rancho Mirage-based IMAHelps for 20 years with no paid staff, while building a team of more than 130 volunteers. For more information, please visit www.imahelps.org.