George E. Weems Memorial Hospital last week received a vanload of medical supplies from the Gulf Coast State College of Health Sciences and Public Safety Departments. The donations, also made to other local hospitals in Gulf and Bay counties, were in response to an increasing demand for critical medical supplies resulting from the COVID-19 virus pandemic.


“Since Gulf Coast made the transition to remote instruction back on March 30, the lab supplies are not being used,” said Dr. John Holdnak, GCSC president. “With medical supplies in such high demand, they will be more useful in the hands of the men and women on the front lines who are working tirelessly to protect us in this time of need. Gulf Coast is committed to helping our community in any way that we can.”


Al McCambry, dean of workforce development and director of the Gulf/Franklin campus, said they are thrilled to show appreciation for their local healthcare partners.


“Our president very much wants everybody to understand that we are the community’s college, and so he rallied the troops and we were able to come up with equipment we thought you guys could use. We are just so proud to be partnered with the medical industry,” he said.


McCambry said this was the best way to utilize excess resources going unused due to the lack of lab courses currently.


The donated supplies include health care items such as gloves, masks, caps, gowns, disinfectant wipes and safety glasses from the labs of GCSC Health Sciences and Public Safety.


The items are a much needed and appreciated gesture, said Weems Interim CEO David Walker.


“As a Critical Access Hospital with limited resources, we appreciate the donations very much,” he said. “Gulf Coast has always been a partner of Franklin County, this donation will aid our effort to increase our supply chain so we are prepared in the event of a convergence of COVID-19 patients in our hospital, clinics, and EMS departments.”


Walker said Weems continues to accept donations. “We would appreciate partnering with local businesses and/or a local group of volunteers who could provide us with any amount of N95, KN95, surgical and homemade masks,” Walker said. “We have masks for our front-line medical staff but we are always looking to increase our supply chain in an effort to be prepared to respond to COVID-19.”


Anyone interested in sewing or donating masks may contact Courtney Alford at 653-8853 ext. 108.