Community Drive helps SLV Health

Sheriff Robert Jackson and Undersheriff Shawn Woods stop by the community supply drive on April 24 to lend their support to Alamosa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Erin Keck and City of Alamosa Economic Development Director Kathy Woods.

The community continued to show its support and appreciation of the Valley’s medical professionals on Friday, April 24, when SLV Health, the City of Alamosa and Alamosa County teamed up to hold a supply drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical community.

“The goal of the drive was to gather the much-needed materials critical for our front-line healthcare workers that we have been struggling to secure due to the supply-chain issues,” said Michelle Gay, SLV Health compliance director.

The event was created when State Representative Donald Valdez reached out to the city of Alamosa suggesting the idea of a community supply drive. Kathy Woods, City of Alamosa’s director of economic development, contacted SLV Health CEO Konnie Martin to see if there was a need, who gladly accepted the offer. During that time, the state stay-at-home order was issued, so the supply drive was temporarily postponed. Once Alamosa Public Health gave the go ahead, the drive was scheduled.

“I was hesitant at first, because I felt people may have already given all they had,” said Woods. “I was pleasantly surprised, as we received a variety of donations. We are grateful to Alamosa Public Health for allowing us to continue with the drive.”

Over a three-hour period of time, Gay, Woods, and Erin Keck, executive director of the Alamosa Chamber of Commerce, stood next to the Alamosa Sheriff’s Office Critical Incident Command Center RV located in front of the SLV Health Education and Conference Center in Alamosa accepting donations of gloves, gowns, N95 masks, reusable cloth masks, safety glasses, goggles, hazardous waste liners, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. Alamosa Sheriff Robert Jackson, Undersheriff Shawn Woods and Rep. Valdez were present for much of the drive to help receive items. Due to the order in place, Alamosa Public Health requested that volunteers were kept to a minimum, to assure safe social distancing.

“Our sincere thanks go to the Alamosa Sheriff’s Office for their use of the critical incident command center, to Sheriff Jackson for staying to help and for Undersheriff Woods for arranging for the vehicle’s use and transporting it and the donated items to us,” said Woods. “Dennis Shioshita with Extreme Graphics also donated the banner.”

Colorado State Rep. Donald Valdez shows his support at the community supply drive, which took place on April 24 with the assistance of Erin Keck, Kathy Woods and SLV Health Compliance Director Michelle Gay.

The group received honks and waves from the many cars that showed support as they passed the event.

“To see the community come out and donate, and their sincere desire to help those on the front line be safe, was the highlight of this event for me,” said Woods. “The San Luis Valley and Alamosa are resilient and strong. “

Gay said that the employees of SLV Health were thankful for the generosity of others. “During this unprecedented time, we have received an outpouring of support for our front-line healthcare workers from the community and our community partners.”

Keck agreed. “This is just a reflection of the community,” she said. “When there’s a need, we try to assist any way we can. People want to help out, and to be able to see that with something like this supply drive – it makes me proud to live here.”

Anyone who still wishes to donate medical supplies can contact Michelle Gay at SLV Health by calling 719-587-6362, by emailing michelle.gay@slvrmc.org; or contact Kathy Woods at the City of Alamosa at 719-587-2546.