OAKLAND, Calif., April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for medical staff on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, a coalition of private and nonprofit organizations have banded together to launch Protecting People Everywhere, an initiative powered by the HealthEquip™ app through which PPE donors and their donations can be matched with potential recipients. The app ensures the equitable distribution of critical PPE and other medical supplies to the places they are needed most. The coalition includes the American Hospital Association, Kaiser Permanente, Kearney, Merit Solutions, Microsoft, and UPS. From technology and shipping to hospital advocacy and health care expertise, coalition members have worked together to solve an issue that is key to virus containment.
Protecting People Everywhere features the HealthEquip™ app to connect donors of PPE to hospitals and communities in need. Through the app, developed by Merit Solutions, anyone can donate PPE, medical-grade preferred, which is then added to a central database. Hospitals that sign up on the app can request the PPE and an algorithm will match resources to critical need based on the amount of staff, the number of COVID-19 patients, and other factors that ensure an unbiased distribution of PPE. Once matched, PPE will be ready for shipment via UPS. Consulting firm Kearney designed the physical supply chain, ensuring medical-grade equipment donations reach workers on the front lines.
Protecting People Everywhere builds on the 100 Million Mask Challenge, an AHA-led effort to leverage private sector partnerships to secure millions of masks for the physicians, nurses, and front-line workers who are serving coronavirus patients and at greater risk due to a nationwide shortage of PPE. In 2 weeks, the initiative has generated widespread public support from hundreds of manufacturers and individuals at 100millionmasks.org.
Since the pandemic began, organizations including AHA and Kaiser Permanente have pushed to secure needed PPE for the health care workforce. The Protecting People Everywhere initiative will help hospitals of all sizes and from every corner of the country fill immediate gaps while continuing to work with government and private sector partners.
"The HealthEquip app will help us continue to turn the inspiring response to the 100 Million Mask Challenge into action," said Michelle Hood, executive vice president and COO of the AHA. "Through this partnership, we will help to secure needed protection for the people on the front lines."
"Health care workers everywhere are working tirelessly to help protect our communities from COVID-19, and we are committed to providing them with the highest level of protection possible," said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals. "We're proud to be part of this coalition that is working to find solutions to closing the critical PPE gap for hospitals across the country."
The goal of the initiative is to provide the logistical support needed on both the donor and recipient sides. This will make it easy for donations to make it to recipients quickly and safely.
"Donating PPE to your local hospital is a good thing. Donating PPE to a hospital that desperately needs it is even better. The goal for this program is ultimately to enable allocation of PPE to those who need it the most, and then to do it at scale," said David Rhew, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Microsoft. "Microsoft is honored to provide the cloud services and technical expertise to support this effort and committed to the goal of protecting those on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19."
"Kearney is committed to helping forge the right connections during this pandemic and privileged to join this group of prominent industry leaders to ensure our health care professionals have the equipment they need," said Alex Liu, managing partner at Kearney.
For more information on how to donate or request PPE, interested parties can go to www.health-equip.com or download the app available in the App Store or Google Play.
About the American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.
As a global consulting partnership in more than 40 countries, our people make us who we are. We're individuals who take as much joy from those we work with as the work itself. Driven to be the difference between a big idea and making it happen, we help our clients break through. For more information, visit www.kearney.com.
About Merit Solutions Inc
Merit Solutions empowers Life Sciences Manufacturers and Healthcare organizations to become more efficient, manage growth and maintain compliance. An award winning, Microsoft Gold Partner, Merit specializes in the delivery of industry specific managed services including Merit for Life Sciences™ built with Microsoft Dynamic D365, as well as application development and cloud services. For more information www.meritsolutions.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America's Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine's Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at ups.com/longitudes. The company's sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter. Learn more about our sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter. To ship with UPS, visit ups.com/ship.
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente