SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Healthcare professionals on the front lines are still struggling to get their hands on personal protective equipment.
One physician assistant who has ties to the western Mass community has come up with a creative way to make sure healthcare workers across the nation are protected with gowns during this pandemic.
“I figured I can try to make a difference with this idea and just ran with it,” Than Moore said.
Than Moore, a former Bay Path University student, spoke with Western Mass News over FaceTime to talk about why he's turning graduation gowns into medical gowns.
“I work as a physician assistant in the emergency department and the University of Vermont, and treating COVID-19 patients myself, and learning about colleagues on the front lines and lacking PPE. I found out they were using trash bags as gowns with no arms with no sleeves,” Moore said.
Moore explained the need for gowns is greater than ever as positive coronavirus cases continue to rise.
“We are having more medical facilities reach out. We have over 20,000 gowns that are in need right now, and we have only been doing this for a week,” Moore said.
The majority of the gowns are donated from high school or college seniors that unfortunately had their commencement ceremonies canceled.
Some of the gowns came with a bigger story.
“My son passed away, and I’m donating his gown in his name for my loved one, classmate and friend who I have been holding on to this gown for years, and I didn’t know how to honor it, and now there is no better place I’d love to give it to you all,” Moore said.
At Gowns4Good, they understand the stress and sadness for the seniors that won't be able to wear their gowns on graduation day.
That's why they are doing something special for those donors.
“We understand the tremendous effect of having graduation canceled all over the world, so we are sending our generous donors our logo to be attached to their motor board on their graduation cap so if they choose to donate their gowns and still have a ceremony in the future, they'll be able to signify their honors and effort by putting this on their cap,” Moore said.
Those who are looking to donate a new or used graduation gown can visit the Gowns4Good website.