News Release, CalvertHealth Medical Center
Prince Frederick, MD – Calvert County is a special place where friends, families, and neighbors care about one another. This has never been more evident than during the recent COVID crisis. From very early on, businesses and individuals were asking what they could do to help CalvertHealth Medical Center. Even now, months later, the swell of donations has continued to grow.
“We have been blown away and humbled by the enormous outpouring of support for the hospital from our community. We couldn’t do what we do without the generous spirit of Calvert County,” said CalvertHealth President and CEO Dean Teague. “More than 200 individuals and families, nonprofits, and businesses have shown incredible resourcefulness and generosity,” he added.
Ben Banyasz of Sneade’s Ace Home Center was among the first to contact the hospital and ask what was needed. Sneade’s went on to donate N95 masks, protective eyewear and Ben even had the idea to use Tyvek coverall suits in place of isolation gowns which were invaluable. “When we learned we would be blessed to be able to stay open, and when we saw the numbers [of those affected by COVID-19] trend upward, we knew we might be in a position to help keep supplies moving to the hospital if they needed them,” said Banyasz. He continued, “Even though Calvert has grown, it still has a small-town feeling, and giving back to the community is always something the Sneade family has strived for. We rely on the healthcare providers who serve the community with love and care. For us, it’s all about loving, caring, and serving.”
“I think we’ve kept the sewing machines humming,” said Andrea Cooper, of Owings, of the many volunteers in Calvert County who have been sewing masks and isolation gowns for hospital staff.
Cooper learned early on of the desperate need for reusable isolation gowns from her daughter, who is a family nurse practitioner working outside of the county. Soon, Cooper began researching patterns and the best fabrics to use. After making a few for her daughter and still wanting to do more to help, Cooper reached out to CalvertHealth. “It was truly a family effort,” Cooper said of her son-in-law making a how-to video, her husband working on ways to share the video to the largest audience and her daughter making masks.
The COVID-19 crisis became very personal when Sylvia Luckett’s nephew was rushed to the hospital with difficulty breathing. Luckett, of Huntingtown, is a lifelong resident of the county and remembers when the community hospital was very small. “It has grown in size and reputation, and now our family can’t imagine going anywhere else,” she said. While her nephew was in the ICU, Luckett looked for ways to help the nurses who were caring for him. She learned many people caring for COVID-19 patients are concerned about bringing the virus into their homes. “What I do not want any healthcare worker to worry about is: what taking care of my family member could possibly do to their family member,” said Luckett. She created kits with items for ICU nurses to change into after coming off of a shift and before entering their home.
One thing all the donors had in common was a spirit and sense of community that drove them to jump in and help when they saw a need. From the donation of N95 masks, from local construction companies, landscapers and their suppliers, to cases of gloves from dental offices and restaurants, to surgical masks and hand sanitizer from organizations outside of the county, to meals and bottled water from individuals, CalvertHealth has felt ‘the love’ from the community it serves.
For a complete listing of individuals and businesses who supported CalvertHealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit CalvertHealthMedicine.org/ThankYou.