Oct 22, 2020
Jun 10, 2020
2020 had all of the makings to be another wonderful year for us here at LIG Global. We had plans to continue our missions in Peru, Appalachia, and the Dominican Republic. Our new Executive Director, Daniel Guerriero was introduced in February. Our executive board had a retreat planned to discuss our plans for the upcoming year and how we would maximize the impact we can make on those we serve. However, us like the rest of the world have been affected by the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. No matter how much we wanted to continue our medical training and community development work in Cajamarca, Wise, and Dajabón in 2020, we had no choice but to keep our volunteers’ health and safety in mind and cancel our medical missions.
As a global health nonprofit organization, we knew that even though we wouldn’t be visiting our partners all over the globe this year, we had to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Since LIG Global is based out of New Jersey, many of our volunteers have been working on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 to keep the public safe and healthy. The LIG Global’s team understood the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and began brainstorming how we could proceed. That’s when we realized how we would be best leveraged to stay true to our mission and help transform the lives of those we serve.
Our initial reaction was to contribute some of the supplies we had in our storage to our local hospitals and healthcare providers that were in need of personal protective equipment. During our first two weeks donating PPE from our storage, we were able to provide over 400 surgical masks to healthcare providers. These providers were unable to safely see their patients because they generally do not require the use of masks in their practices. The masks we provided allowed for these doctors to see their patients and ensure that their health conditions could still be managed in the midst of a global crisis.
As was expected, the majority of PPE in hospitals were reallocated to the healthcare professionals who were in direct contact with COVID-19 positive patients. That is when Dr. Margaret Dziadocz, an LIG volunteer provided Dr. Sylvester with a homemade face shield to use while delivering patients. With Dr. Dziadocz’s permission, LIG Global called for volunteers to craft some homemade PPE through our Facebook page. Per Dr. Dziadocz’s leadership, guidelines were posted on how face shields could be crafted with simple materials and be completed at home. These masks are highly effective at reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by serving as a barrier between patients and healthcare professionals. These types of face shields are highly valuable to health care professionals in hosptials, private practices, and COVID-19 testing centers. Some of our other wonderful volunteers such as Laura Smouse and Cathleen Michael also went above and beyond to create other PPE as well such as reusable facemasks and headbands with clips to help prevent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals’ ears from chaffing caused by wearing facemasks for hours on end. Being a nonprofit organization composed of medical doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, we are well positioned to help distribute these matierals to those hospitals that are running low on these vital pieces of equipment.
We are so grateful for all of our volunteers past and present. It is extremely rewarding for us to work alongside so many individuals who thoroughly believe in the three pillars of LIG Global; Sharing, Service, and Integrity. Together we have been able to step up to the challenge and come together when the world needs us most, in areas that need us most. This is something we will continue to do for many years to come. Thank you again to everyone on the front lines fighting COVID-19 and those contributing to the fight from afar as well.
-The LIG Global Team