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TCC loaning ventilators and donating supplies to help fight COVID-19

From loaning ventilators to donating boxes of supplies, Tidewater Community College is supporting area health professionals in the battle against COVID-19.

TCC’s Respiratory Therapy program loaned 11 ventilators to Sentara Healthcare on March 31. Housed in the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus, the ventilators are used in simulation labs that are hands-on classrooms for respiratory therapy students.

“It’s a small part that we can play to make a difference,” said Denise Bieszczad, program head for Respiratory Therapy, which will graduate 14 from the program, all of whom already have jobs in the field.

Bieszczad, who’s been at TCC for nearly four decades, taught many of the respiratory therapists working in Hampton Roads’ major health systems today, who she said, “are in the front lines of fighting COVID-19.” In fact, it was TCC graduate Steve Sibole, director of Patient Care Services at Sentara, who reached out to Bieszczad asking if the college had any ventilators to loan.

“We were happy to do our part,” said Bieszczad, who also offered to loan ventilators to Bon Secours, another of TCC’s regional partners.

Boxes of supplies headed to Sentara Healthcare, one of five major healthcare systems in Hampton Roads receiving donations from TCC.

In addition, on April 1, TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions donated 500 pairs of gloves, 500 procedure masks, 100 surgical shields, 50 poly gowns and 50 isolation gowns to each of the five major health systems in Hampton Roads (Sentara, Bon Secours, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Lake Taylor, Chesapeake Regional).

The supplies were leftover inventory from nurse aide, clinical medical assisting and other workforce instructional programs.

WAVY, WTKR and 13News Now each featured stories about TCC’s efforts.