HPU ‘Ohana Helps to Combat the Spread of COVID-19 in Our Community

David Horgen with PPE donation for Castle Med Center

In the effort to help members of our broader community in Hawai‘i, a group of faculty, students, and staff from the College of Natural and Computational Sciences (CNCS) and the College of Health and Society are engaged in activities to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Assistant Professor of Biology Chris Capaldo, Ph.D. is leading outreach initiatives on behalf of the working group. 

The group organized a donation of personal protective gear (PPE), including exam gloves, disposable gowns, eyewear, N95 respirators, from the CNCS laboratories and its teaching labs, benefiting Castle Medical Center. A donation of exam gloves, eyewear, and lab coats went to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC). The group would like to acknowledge the HPU Bookstore for its donation of goggles and gowns to WCCHC. Professor of Chemistry and Head of HPU’s Shared Instrumentation Facility David Horgen, Ph.D., has coordinated the hospital and clinic donations.

Marli Koba and students representing the Pre-Health Club took the initiative to organize a phone bank, and the callers are asking businesses for donations of supplies for repurposing as PPE. Student Andy Yu is making DIY disinfectant wipes, and he recently organized PPE material donations from the Laulani Dental Clinic.

Student Elizabeth Fisher and recent graduate Shelby Shulten are making cloth masks to donate. Also participating in the cloth-mask making initiative are faculty and staff with CNCS Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Biology Carrie Jones, Ph.D., who heads the effort, and Instructor of Biology Michael Canute,  M.S., contributed a great mask pattern.

Capaldo and the team invite others to join them in this community project. If you have fabric or extra sewing materials you would like to provide, please drop them off at the lobby of the Academic Center at Hawaii Loa campus, or if you would like to volunteer to make masks, email the team c/o cjones@hpu.edu.

Pictured is faculty member David Horgen, Ph.D., preparing to deliver the PPE supplies to Castle Medical Center.