Kent State Nursing Donates Ventilators to Local Hospitals

Kent State University College of Nursing faculty members Jennifer Shanholtzer, MSN, RN, CHSE, lecturer and sim lab co-coordinator, and Jeremy Jarzembak, MA, BSN, BS, RN, senior lector and sim lab co-coordinator, were participating in a virtual faculty meeting about the COVID-19 pandemic last week when an idea struck. “We kept thinking about the working ventilators hooked up to mannikins in The Olga A. Mural Simulation Lab in Henderson Hall,” said Jennifer. Jeremy agreed. “With in-person classes and labs suspended, we felt we should see if the ventilators could be used in our community to assist with caring for patients during this pandemic. The more proactive we can be, the more lives we have the potential to save.” They presented the idea to Tracey Motter, DNP, RN, associate dean for undergraduate programs and Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean, Henderson Memorial Endowed Chair, who offered the equipment to University Hospital Portage Medical Center in Ravenna, OH. The offer was graciously accepted and the donation of two ventilators was made on Tuesday, March 30, prior to Ohio Governor Mike Dewine’s announcement of a mandate to inventory all ventilators throughout the state. Jennifer, and her husband, Matt, loaded, transported and delivered the ventilators in their personal truck, per the request of the hospital.

“These ventilators are vital to patients who need mechanical breathing assistance. This adds two needed resources to our existing inventory of ventilators and may save lives depending on the surge of patients we see in the next couple of weeks,” said University Hospitals Portage Medical Center President William Benoit, MBA, MOT, FACHE. “UH Portage Medical Center could not be more grateful to Kent State University, who truly stands by its mission…To be a community of change agents whose collective commitment to learning sparks epic thinking, meaningful voice and invaluable outcomes to better our society. This is yet another example of their commitment to this community.”

As the college ventilators have only ever been used on mannikins, they will be thoroughly checked by the hospital’s bioengineers to ensure they are safe, updated and sterilized before going into rotation on the floors. University Hospital Portage Medical Center will keep the ventilators for as long as they are needed, after which the equipment will be returned to the College of Nursing and once again used to train the next generation of Kent State nursing students.

Being an ICU nurse, Jeremy knows how important ventilators are for patients experiencing respiratory distress. “Ventilators are life-support machines that breathe for a patient. They allow air to be placed into the lungs and expelled when a patient is unable to do so on their own.” According to Jeremy, the number of ventilators a hospital typically has depends on the size of its intensive care unit. “There is not an infinite number of ventilators available and they can quickly be used up,” he clarified. “Hopefully these ventilators don’t need to be used, but if it comes to that, they are available as a resource should the community need it.”

There is one ventilator remaining at the college and Jennifer explained it has been entered into the Governor’s database along with a ventilator housed at Kent State Geauga. Kent State Salem donated theirs to the Salem Regional Medical Center in Salem, OH, prior to the mandate.

“We see our fellow healthcare providers working hard to respond to this pandemic and knowing that we had the ability to help during this critical time of need is heartwarming,” said Jennifer.


Additional items Donated by Kent State College of Nursing:

Kent Campus:

  • 250 pairs of sterile gloves
  • 60 single sterile gloves
  • 50 isolation gowns
  • 25 boxes of clean gloves
  • 4 boxes of face masks
  • One oral thermometer
  • 250 oral thermometer probes
  • 50 snack care packages

Geauga Campus:

  • 50 isolation gowns
  • 23 boxes of gloves
  • 3 boxes of surgical masks
  • 5 hospital beds

Stark Campus:

  • 150 procedure masks
  • 80 pairs of splash goggles
  • 50+ boxes of nitrile gloves

Kent Trumbull:

  • 30 boxes of gloves

Salem Campus:

  • 30 boxes of gloves
  • 3 boxes of face masks
  • 12 face shields
  • 18 N95 masks
  • 10 paper gowns
  • 6 hospital beds
  • 1 stretcher
  • 1 ventilator
  • 8 temporal thermometers
  • 7 bedside tables
  • 2 vital signs monitors
  • 4 handheld pulse oximeters
  • 3 manual blood pressure cuffs
  • 1 EKG machine
  • 1 Defibrillator
POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 4:46pm
Mariah Gibbons