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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”