On Tuesday, officials with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation announced the approval of a $40,000 grant to the El Paso County Medical Society for the purchase of 24,000 N95 masks for private practice physicians and nonprofit healthcare providers in El Paso County, and has authorized the purchase of protective equipment for providers in Ciudad Juarez as well.
With a limited supply of government-funded personal protective equipment for a broad cross-section of physicians and healthcare providers, this grant would support local practitioners as they care for patients, including those who are confirmed or potentially COVID-19 positive.
“Outpatient physicians are the first line of healthcare providers to see the majority of coronavirus patients who are not sick enough to require hospital care, but maybe just as infectious,” said Dr. Alison Day, President, El Paso County Medical Society. “By keeping more clinical staff infection-free, there is increased medical staffing capacity in El Paso that may be required in a surge situation.”
The El Paso County Medical Society will purchase and distribute mask to local physicians and nonprofit providers on a priority basis.
“It is extremely important to have the protective equipment needed to keep everyone in the community safe. The Health Foundation has mobilized resources to ensure that organizations and residents on both sides of the border have access to critical information and supports as the pandemic reaches our region,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Paso del Norte Community Foundation.
“We have established the EPCovid19.org information hub and El Paso COVID-19 Response Fund to provide additional resources for our binational community
The Health Foundation has also granted $7,500 to the Rescue Mission of El Paso to purchase supplies for the production and distribution of hand-made masks for staff and volunteers of homeless shelters across El Paso County working on the front lines to serve the most vulnerable in our community.