Protecting those who protect us: Wichita State COVID-19 Response Initiative


In response to the many needs among our health care workers, fire, EMS and police officials during this difficult time, Wichita State University President Jay Golden put out a call to action on Friday, March 20, to every WSU and WSU Tech employee or department able to donate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Any company or member of the community who would also like to support this effort is encouraged to make a donation to Wichita State as the university coordinates this on-going effort.

This initiative comes as a response to community partners, including the major hospitals, fire and law enforcement agencies, asking Wichita State University for donations of any PPE, including N-95 respirator masks, surgical masks, Latex gloves, surgical gowns and protective face shields.

Rob Gerlach, Wichita State director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, is leading this important outreach effort to deploy university resources in response to community COVID-19 needs, beginning with the frontline needs of health care workers, fire, EMS and law enforcement.

If you have ideas or resources to contribute, contact Rob, For this initiative to have measurable success, we need widespread involvement.

After the university gathers up the PPE, we will work on appropriately distributing it to community partners.

Jeremy Patterson, the university’s interim executive director for Innovation and New Ventures, has also been in conversations with KU Med Wichita and other local hospitals. The university is also taking advantage of Wichita State’s unique innovation and research capabilities, including 3D printing technologies, manufacturing prototyping and digital sciences, to help during this time of crisis.

In addition, through this initiative, WSU has been working closely with the GoCreate, a Koch collaborative, makerspace to start creating masks.

“Things are changing rapidly, and WSU will adapt to do all that we can for the greater good,” said Dr. Golden.

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