Medical professionals need supplies such as masks and gloves due to a shortage in responding to the coronavirus.
According to a news release from the Nebraska Medical Association, small clinics and hospitals are in need of N95 masks, surgical masks, eye protection, medical-grade disposable gloves and scrubs.
Dr. Michele Gleason of Gleason-Janky Eye Physicians took up the call to gather as many N95 masks as possible for local physicians, as CHI Health St. Francis currently has what it needs.
Gleason spoke with Loran Tejral of NAPA Auto Parts in Grand Island.
She said Tejral’s store was out of masks but that he said part of his job is sourcing parts, chemicals and commodities, so he took it upon himself to track down more masks.
Tejral tracked down a box of 10, and he said he owed it to his mentality and attitude to keep looking and digging. He called area NAPA stores and other suppliers to see what they had.
Soon, Tejral had found 100 masks for Gleason.
“I tried to donate the masks to Gleason, but she insisted to pay, so I cut them a pretty good deal,” he said. “When that last batch came in, Michele was almost in tears.”
Taylor Turek, Gleason’s scribe at the eye care clinic, said she heard about Gleason’s project and wanted to help out.
Turek said she and her dad, Ron Turek, went to pick up some masks Gleason’s husband found at the NAPA store in Ravenna as well as True Value.
Turek’s dad also donated some N95 masks he found on his farm.
“I was just trying to help out any way I could,” Taylor Turek said. “Even if I found 20, 25 masks, I was hoping it could help in some way.”
Gleason took the masks gathered up and distributed them to physicians in Grand Island, a practice in Holdrege and a clinic in Kearney.
She said they will still be trying to obtain as many masks as they can, but her mission will be taken over by Dr. Susan Newman.
Tejral said he wanted to help to give back and help everyone’s lives get back to normal as soon as possible.
“We need to take care of the people who will help resolve this crisis,” he said.