Posted April 7, 2020

Philadelphia Asian and Chinese groups donate personal protective equipment to Temple University Hospital

Members of Temple’s Chinese faculty and staff community spearheaded the effort.

mask donation to Temple Hospital
Temple University’s Chinese faculty and staff community, a group of 88 members, recently led an effort to donate more than 81,000 personal protective items to Temple University Hospital.

Multiple Temple University and Philadelphia Chinese organizations recently donated more than 81,000 personal protective (PPE) items to Temple University Hospital.

The Temple University Chinese Community, Temple University Center for Asian Health, American Chinese United Organization, Philadelphia Chinese Community Organization United and Fu Jian Association of Philadelphia combined to donate 42,000 medical gloves; 39,200 medical, surgical, KN95 and N95 masks; 204 protective coveralls; 100 safety goggles; and 100 units of hand sanitizer to the hospital.

Temple University’s Chinese faculty and staff community, a group of 88 members, jumped on the chance to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“When we received the requests from faculty members who work at Temple University Hospital and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, we decided to help,” said one of the coordinators of this effort, Holly Meng, director of Executive Leadership Education in Temple’s International Affairs Office. “We asked for mask and glove donations from outside organizations, and we started fundraising within the group with the goal of raising $10,000 to pay for masks and other supplies.” 

Abhinav Rastogi, senior vice president of professional services at Temple Hospital, and his team member Prijesh Nair, supply chain data analyst, distributed the donations to doctors and nurses.

According to organizers, the fundraiser was an opportunity for the Temple University Chinese community to lead by example.

“Today, we unite, regardless of origin, to fight against a common enemy, to protect our families and communities, to protect our city, Philadelphia, and to protect the United States,” said Yi Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology. “Two months ago, we worked very hard to send masks to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of this pandemic; two months later, without any hesitation, we started another campaign to collect PPE for our city of Philadelphia. Why? Because it is our ‘call of duty.’”

Robert Li, a professor in the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, who also helped organize the fundraiser, agreed.

“The first thing that came to mind is that we need to do something to support these frontline health workers who are risking their own health to help all of us,” Li said. “Beyond that, the Chinese community suffers a lot at this difficult time. So, our message is: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak and related stigma and discrimination, the TU Chinese community is choosing compassion over frustration.”

In appreciation, Michael A. Young, president and CEO of Temple University Health System and Temple University Hospital, said, “Temple University Health System thanks the Temple University Chinese Community and the Philadelphia Chinese community for this generous donation. The health and safety of our staff, our patients, and our community continues to be our highest priority and maintaining sufficient quantities of personal protective equipment is vitally important. This donation will provide crucial resources needed to protect our clinical staff, our patients and the community.”

Meng hopes the effort also helps spur additional donations.

“We are not just providing vendor resources to Temple University Hospital and donating medical masks and gloves,” she said. “We are also continually asking communities and friends to donate to the hospital. 

—Dylan Coyle