The Foundation at KVH helps protect healthcare workers in the COVID-19 response

August 13, 2020

Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) would like to thank The Foundation at KVH and its many donors for their support of employee safety through the purchase of 15 Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs).

On March 2, 2020, KVH activated its Incident Command Team in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the first tasks given to the team was the review of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inventory on hand, as well as a review of the stability of the supply chain. The need to secure additional PAPRs for KVH employees quickly rose to the top of the list.

PAPRs are air-fed respirators using positive pressure to keep air contaminants away while also providing a stream of cool, clear air to the wearer. PAPRs are used by individuals who are unable to wear an N95 respirator. “It is much easier to breathe with a PAPR, as fresh air is blowing on your face continuously and you don’t have to work hard to get it,” explained Anna Scarlett, Employee Health Coordinator. “The air filtration is occurring before it arrives at your nose or mouth, so it doesn’t take as much effort to breathe as it does when using an N95 Respirator mask.”

At a cost of over $2000 per unit, Julie Petersen, KVH Chief Executive Officer, immediately thought of approaching The Foundation at KVH for support. “The Foundation was happy that Julie approached them regarding the PAPRs for the staff,” stated Terry Clark, KVH Commissioner and Liaison to The Foundation. “They want to be supportive of KVH during this time of uncertainty and were happy to help purchase these critical employee safety items.”

“The ability of The Foundation to support the purchase of these PAPRs is a direct result of the community’s generous support of our fundraising activities,” stated Laura Bobovski, Foundation Assistant. “Despite these difficult times, the community continues to contribute to our online fundraising efforts that are supporting the COVID-19 response, breast cancer awareness and the purchase of new cardiac care equipment for the Hospital.”

The Foundation at KVH was established in 1986 to support the mission of Kittitas Valley Healthcare. It consists of a 19-member volunteer board, dedicated to improving the services offered throughout the healthcare system. Since its inception, through the generosity of our community, The Foundation has donated over $2 million to the organization. For information on ways to give to The Foundation, please visit their website: http://www.kvhealthcare.org/foundation or contact The Foundation Office at 509.933.8669.