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Helping to Protect Frontline Healthcare Workers in Los Angeles

National Headquarters  |  April 23, 2020
Tzu Chi volunteers prepare to hand over personal protective equipment being donated to West Anaheim Medical Center. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Translated by Diana Chang
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska

Tzu Chi volunteers in the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area have been diligently fulfilling their mission to help protect frontline healthcare workers. As part of their care, they took the initiative to research and contact local hospitals, to discern their needs. The volunteers then scheduled donations of medical supplies.

Subsequently, on April 13 and 14, Tzu Chi USA’s distributions of personal protective equipment and supplies reached five healthcare facilities, namely, West Anaheim Medical Center, College Hospital Cerritos, St. Mary Medical Center – Long Beach, Norwalk Community Hospital, and Whittier Hospital Medical Center.

West Anaheim Medical Center

West Anaheim Medical Center is a community hospital providing 219 beds. On April 10, Tzu Chi volunteers learned what the facility needed in terms of medical supplies, and agreed to deliver 1,000 face masks and 500 gloves on the morning of April 13.

Antoine Lewis, Supply Chain Supervisor at the hospital, and a colleague, are there to greet Tzu Chi volunteers when they arrive with medical supplies on April 13. Photo / Chunlan Hsu
Antoine Lewis, the Supply Chain Supervisor at West Anaheim Medical Center, accepts and signs for the donation of 1,000 face masks and 500 gloves. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Antoine Lewis, the Supply Chain Supervisor at the hospital, and one of his colleagues, met the Tzu Chi volunteers making the delivery when they arrived at the main entrance and thanked Tzu Chi USA for its vital support at this challenging time.

College Hospital Cerritos

College Hospital Cerritos is a 187-bed Psychiatric Hospital. Although the facility couldn’t disclose whether it has confirmed cases of COVID-19, Tzu Chi volunteers chose to offer medical supplies regardless.

Representing the hospital, Kiyo Teshima (second left) and Louise Ferraro (second right), accept the donation with warm thanks. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

St. Mary Medical Center – Long Beach

St. Mary Medical Center at Long Beach is one of the larger community hospitals serving the Los Angeles area, providing 367 beds. On April 10, Tzu Chi volunteer Tzuchiao Su learned that the hospital was treating confirmed COVID-19 cases and needed medical supplies. 

Elaine Chambers, Materials Manager at Dignity Health, which operates this community hospital, was designated to accept Tzu Chi’s donation, scheduled for April 13. 

On April 13, Tzu Chi volunteers, carrying the supplies for donation, make their way from the parking to the entrance of St. Mary Medical Center. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

At the appointed time that morning, Elaine Chambers rushed outside to greet the Tzu Chi team, concerned that the volunteers might have to search for her in the hospital’s lobby.

St. Mary Medical Center received 1,500 face masks, 500 gloves, and 50 disinfectant sprays that day. Grateful for the donation, Elaine asked for contact information should the hospital need more help in the future. The volunteers were glad to give her a brochure about Tzu Chi with the contact information. 

Elaine Chambers (right) greets Tzu Chi volunteers at the entrance of St. Mary Medical Center. Photo / Chunlan Hsu
Even though everyone is wearing a face mask, one can see their eyes smiling – another mission of love and care accomplished. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Norwalk Community Hospital

Norwalk Community Hospital is a small acute care facility, offering 50 beds, yet Tzu Chi USA made sure its healthcare workers received a donation of medical supplies as well. 

Judy Fauria, VP, Ancillary Operations at Alta Hospitals System Norwalk, greeted the volunteers who delivered 500 medical face masks and 30 disinfectant sprays on April 13, and accepted the supplies on behalf of Norwalk Community Hospital.

Tzu chi volunteers head towards the entrance of Norwalk Community Hospital to deliver a donation of medical supplies on April 13. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Judy thanked the volunteers for Tzu Chi USA’s support and care for the community. At a time like this, every mask and disinfectant makes a difference on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Tzu Chi volunteers and Judy Fauria (center) pause for a photo together to celebrate the moment. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Whittier Hospital Medical Center

Whittier Hospital Medical Center, providing health care to residents of the southeast San Gabriel Valley, is a 178-bed facility. Tzu Chi’s donation of medical supplies for the center was the result of personal outreach on the part of volunteers, seeking to ascertain the hospital’s needs. 

Contact was established with Frieda Wenzara-Pastor , Director of Marketing / Clinics for Whittier Hospital Medical Center, who gratefully accepted Tzu Chi’s offer of help.  And on April 14, 1,000 face masks, 500 gloves, and 30 KN95 masks were delivered to the hospital. 

Tzu Chi volunteers, carrying the medical supplies for donation, approach the entrance to the Whittier Hospital Medical Center on April 14. Photo / Chunlan Hsu
Both Frieda Wenzara-Pastor, Director of Marketing / Clinics, and Richard Castro, CEO of Whittier Hospital Medical Center, signed for the donation. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Frieda Wenzara-Pastor was eagerly waiting for the team when they arrived. She was also happy to receive some brochures with more information about Tzu Chi and its missions.

Frieda Wenzara-Pastor, Director of Marketing / Clinics for Whittier Hospital Medical Center greets volunteers as they approach the entrance to the hospital. Photo / Chunlan Hsu
Frieda Wenzara-Pastor listens as a volunteer shares more information about Tzu Chi and its missions. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

Richard Castro, the CEO of Whittier Hospital Medical Center, was also on hand to personally acknowledge receipt of the precious donation and gave a letter of thanks to the volunteers who delivered the supplies.

Richard Castro (second right), CEO of Whittier Hospital Medical Center, personally accepts Tzu Chi USA’s donation of medical supplies. Photo / Chunlan Hsu
The letter of thanks from the CEO of Whittier Hospital Medical Center, for Tzu Chi USA’s donation of medical supplies. Photo / Chunlan Hsu

In his letter of thanks on behalf of Whittier Hospital Medical Center, Richard Castro stated that everyone was overwhelmed with gratitude. And, he echoed Tzu Chi USA’s view that “keeping our healthcare professionals, patients, families and community safe is critical during these unprecedented times.”

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