University of Maryland lab supplies donated to local hospitals

Two PhD students in the bioengineering program at the University of Maryland have started collecting items from labs while the university is closed to donate to local hospitals.

Two University of Maryland students noticed that there were a lot of useful items in local labs that could be used for health care workers fighting coronavirus, and decided to do something about it.

“We do have some of this equipment so it only made sense just to get it to the right places that need it immediately,” said Christina Conrad, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland.

Conrad, along with fellow student James Shamul, sent an email to their department to see if there were items in their labs that could be donated to those caring for patients during the coronavirus outbreak.

Conrad said the response was overwhelming.

“From there, we started reaching out to the entire university.”

Thirty-seven different labs including animal science, biology, physics and other departments replied and donated more than 24,000 pairs of gloves, 2,500 face masks, 137 disposable lab coats, more than 100 N95 masks, and multiple gallons of cleaning supplies.

“It’s been really just exciting to get a lot of generosity. A lot of people have come together,” Conrad said.

They have donated the supplies to the Prince George’s County Heath Department, the University of Maryland Medical Center, John’s Hopkins and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

“It’s definitely a great way for me to spend my time right now since our labs are closed at Maryland,” Conrad said. “A lot of us Ph.D. students are focused on writing our dissertations or reading literature, so this has just been a really great activity to be involved and try to make a difference.”

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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