After learning about protective equipment shortages in area healthcare facilities, Dr. Mei Zhao spearheaded efforts to have the local Chinese community collect unused supplies to donate.
Zhao, professor and chair of UNF's Department of Health Administration and a past president of the Jacksonville Chinese Association, found out from friends working in local hospitals that there were shortages of personal protective equipment. After confirming with Baptist Health that they needed supplies, Zhao decided to help.
She contacted Jacksonville Chinese Association (JCA) leaders including Dr. Lian An, an UNF economics professor and chairwoman of JCA Board. The two professors started a donation drive for supplies. The Chinese community and other partners donated more than $78,000 worth of supplies to Baptist Health, including 23,000 N95 masks and 14,000 gloves in just two weeks.
"I feel very grateful, moved and touched by the community's enthusiasm to help our local healthcare organizations," Zhao said. "Baptist was also very grateful and happy about the donations, they have expressed their gratitude many times on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and through local news media."
Zhao hopes their efforts inspire more businesses and organizations to join together to support frontline healthcare providers.
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