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Virology expert Adam R. Hersperger, Ph.D., and Physician Joshua B. Williamson, M.D., have teamed up at Albright College to create a series of videos explaining what the coronavirus is and what experts do and don’t know about it. The team answers viewer questions and discuss related topics like vaccines, as well as clinical trials and viral evolution.
Low on supplies, Reading Hospital’s pharmacy was interested in using the World Health Organization’s sanitizer recipe to bolster its stock of sanitizer for staff members. But one key ingredient, ethyl alcohol, wasn’t easily sourced last spring.
Manatawny Still Works in Montgomery County, owned by alumnus Al Matarazzo ’92, set aside 10 gallons of ethyl alcohol, even while continuing to operate through the pandemic. And after a phone call from alumnus Blake Tobias Jr. ’17, Albright College donated another five gallons of laboratory-grade ethyl alcohol. Although Tobias normally works in operations development for Reading Hospital’s McGlinn Cancer Institute, he currently leads the hospital’s incident command team for operational response to COVID-19.
The support from Manatawny Still Works and Albright College is another example of what we, as a community, can accomplish when we work together,” said William M. Jennings, Reading Hospital president and CEO. “Our employees now have access to hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Finding that substantially more students are in need of emergency funds in the wake of the coronavirus, Lifting Up Lions is an emergency fund that has been created for Albright students who face financial hardship that threatens academic progress.
Contributions to this fund provide a one-time grant to students in immediate need for emergency travel expenses, unexpected costs for essential academic supplies or personal items, and for shelter and food. Learn more or place your gift online at Albright.edu/giving.
Learning that a shortage of personal protective equipment led some medical offices and emergency personnel to cut open soda bottles and use duct tape for face shields, Adelle Schade, director of the Science Research Institute at Albright College, called on the Berks community for support.
Working with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Ben Franklin Technology PArtners and CrossTrainer Mixed Reality, the Berks PPE Resource Network organized the production, collection and distribution of free 3D printed face shields across the county.
Within six hours of creating an online form, 20 organizations had already requested 1,200 face shields. And over the next eight weeks, 97 volunteers produced and distributed 62,344 face shields, helping 237 organizations that included local hospitals, doctor’s offices, police departments and security organizations.
Days after Gov. Tom Wolf called for all Pennsylvanians to wear cloth masks, Albright College Associate Professor of theatre and fashion and Costume Shop coordinator, Paula Trimpey, M.F.A., got to work making face masks in her home. Associate Professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Christian S. Hamann, Ph.D., took up the charge of sterilizing the masks.
It started with a theatre alumnus who wanted some for a family member with a compromised immune system and went on to many, many friends and family members,” said Trimpey. “We used 100% cotton with a high thread count since this also bleaches well. The ties allow for any size face/head where elastic masks can sag on small faces/heads.
Trimpey and Hamann also created a series of five “how-to” videos, showing the full process, from cutting patterns to sterilizing finished masks.
Some of the first masks were given to a Doctor of Pharmacology at John Hopkins in Baltimore, a nurse at the Reading Dialysis Unit, Albright Public Safety and Aramark Food Services. Eventually, many other received Trimpey’s masks, including students who finished out the spring semester on the college’s campus.