Despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it, the Kent State Geauga/Twinsburg Academic Center community has come together to turn this uncertain time into a renewed time of hope and encouragement for the greater good.

Nursing faculty members have mobilized to assist their colleagues combating the coronavirus on the front lines in clinical settings. Associate Degree in Nursing Coordinator Donna Casey and Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator Jana Sovacool collected a cartful of supplies — gloves, masks, bandages — from the ADN nursing lab to donate to local hospitals.

Since nursing labs are no longer being held on campus, those supplies are better used to protect health-care practitioners now that Personal Protective Equipment supplies are in high demand due to shortages across the country. Casey says, "It’s the right thing to do."

Elsewhere in the KSU Geauga nursing department, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing  team donated more than 50 isolation gowns, 23 boxes of gloves, and three boxes of surgical masks to UH Geauga Hospital. The lab also has offered its practice ventilator, if UH Geauga can adapt it for patient use. BSN program coordinator and faculty member Melissa Owen and BSN faculty member Kerry Myer organized this effort.

Meanwhile, Geauga County community members are joining KSU Geauga Campus personnel in sewing homemade protective masks for under-equipped medical facilities throughout the region, including University Hospitals, Heather Hill Care Communities and Ravenwood.

Students Answering the Call

Heather Hill Care Communities are not only accepting masks but also are actively seeking students for hire. Interested students should contact Heather Hill Administrator Brandi Franklin at 440-279-2443 or log onto heatherhill-care.net.

Full-time student Ayah Abukhaled already works at a nursing home. She has noticed that her patients require more compassion these days because many with memory issues are unable to comprehend why their relatives are unable to visit them. Ayah notes that this is an important time for health-care employees to show kindness and patience with patients who are placebound and whose daily patterns have been disrupted. As a nurse in training, Ayah will be applying to the Geauga Campus’s BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program this year.

Similarly, TAC zoology major Dasha Evans — who works with Alzheimer’s residents — has had to get creative when implementing the 10-person-per-gathering rule. Dasha’s patients congregate in community rooms to watch TV, play games, snack or nap. Since the onset of COVID-19, Dasha has mustered up more stamina and diligence to maintain social distancing guidelines while not upsetting this high-risk population.

From the Top

As faculty and students are adapting to the government-mandated lockdown that keeps them from campus workplaces and learning spaces, Dean Angela Spalsbury has equipped them with new ways to stay connected and productive.

Utilizing Zoom videoconferencing technology, Spalsbury is keeping in touch with faculty and equipping them with the digital tools they need to continue teaching students — not in the physical classroom but in the virtual one.

"Dean Spalsbury has consistently kept the faculty and staff informed, ensured we are as calm as possible — and she has been attentive to Geauga and Twinsburg’s technology needs during the shift to remote teaching," say Mathematics Lecturer Joe Kratky and English Instructor Sorina Ailiesei. "The dean utilizes Zoom to make announcements and to make sure we are still operating as a community in this time of remote learning. She has made a special effort to look out for the adjuncts and has assisted everyone with their software and course delivery needs."