Medical supply shortage also hits services not inside hospitals

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Medical professionals are looking in unlikely places for medical gear

CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Personal protective gear is short for medical workers all across the country, and it’s having a trickle-down effect here in the Valley.

Joel Steider works for Generations Behavioral Health in Youngstown. They service adults and even elderly patients who need psychiatric care. While they aren’t taking COVID-19 patients, they still need to protect themselves and their patients from potentially contracting it.

Steider’s entire job description has changed since COVID-19 infections began. He said right now, everyone working is doing any job they can. Recently, that meant going from business to business looking for any gloves or masks he could buy to take back to the hospital. He even stopped in Advanced Auto parts, where they had six boxes of gloves but instead of letting him buy the gloves, they asked if they could donate.

Steider said he never could have imagined a day where his job brought him to a car shop looking for the essential gear needed in our hospitals.

“I never expected to see this in my lifetime. You hear of in the past where these plagues and pandemics happen, and they were just completely unprepared. It is kind of like we are facing that now and going to an auto parts store or a home improvement store to look for basic supplies is just surreal,” Steider said.

The auto shop wasn’t the only one looking to help out, a medical supply distribution company with a warehouse in Cortland donated boxes of masks and cleaning supplies to the hospital.

Medlab Gear International typically sells supplies like gowns, cleaning wipes, masks and gloves to shops like Amazon and Walmart. Now, they’re changing operations, selling directly to hospitals and here in the Valley

The company donated whatever they can to local first responders, hospitals and even restaurants who need to keep our food safe.

“That seemed like the most immediate thing we could do to help and get a widespread amount of people. They are gone in the stores (thermometers), and the ones that are online are either shipping from China or they are five times the cost,” said Joe Stiver, owner of Medlab Gear International.

Medlab made a care package of boxes of supplies to send to Generations Behavioral Health facility.

Medlab has given away 2,000 thermometers to individuals so they have them in their homes.

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