OAKLAND, MD- From medical supplies and meals to handwritten notes, Garrett Regional Medical Center has received an unprecedented level of community support throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March the staff at GRMC has faced pressure to quickly adapt to changing protocol and prepare for a possible influx of patients due to COVID-19. Many local businesses have reached out to provide encouragement for the staff through donations that have helped lift spirits during this difficult and demanding time.
Businesses including Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations, Slopeside Market, The Greene Turtle, Garrett College, Naylor’s Ace Hardware, Lock Lynn Church of God, The Belt Group of Companies, S&S Electric, Sherwin Williams, Tomanetti’s Pizza, Newman Funeral Home, Husky Insulation & Remodeling, Garrett Counties Sheriff’s Office, GaCO Robotics Team, Heather’s Sweet Treats, Garrett County Health Department, Pillar Innovations, Breathe Grace Medical Supplies, Loar Auxiliary, Oakland School of Martial Arts, Cornucopia Cafe, Savage Designs, 3rd Street Diner, Uno’s, Dutch’s at Silver Tree, and Ledo’s Pizza have dropped off food and critical PPE for the staff. The hospital has also received many donations from individuals in the community including Susan and Carl Gray, Dave and Debbie Welch, Ruth Beitzel, Rachel Warnick, Dr. Lisa Ryan, Michelle Riggleman, Faye Hetrick, Dr. Abe Getty, and the Medical Staff at GRMC.
Many of the donations have included personal protection equipment that is being used to keep both patents and staff members safe.
Dmitry Kubin-Ostrogorsky, of the Oakland school of Martial Arts, donated 3D printed mask holders made by his students. “As the world changes in front of our eyes and we are challenged with a new reality, it is amazing to see that children, even those from our small school, are capable of helping those who are on the front line of this ongoing fight,” said Mr. Kubin-Ostrogorsky. “I am proud to see how many of us are discovering within ourselves the ability to help and be helpful.”
The hospital also received over 1,000 handmade masks for staff and patients. A majority of those masks were donated by Ruth Beitzel, who organized a group of around 70 people to quickly produce masks for the community. Within two weeks over 3,000 masks have been made by Ruth’s group and distributed throughout the area.
“I felt a strong need to give back to the community in some way,” said Ms. Beitzel. “When I started making the masks, they were not required yet, and I was just making them for a few people who wanted one. It quickly grew through word of mouth, and with the help of many others we have been able to produce a substantial number of masks that the community now needs. I feel honored to be a part of this outstanding work. It means so much to me to be able to give back during this time.”
Garrett Regional Medical Center is honored by the outpouring of support.
“This very challenging time has really shown us what sort of community we have here,” Kendra Thayer, GRMC’s Chief Operating Officer, stated. “Garrett County never ceases to amaze me – we are blessed to have so many caring, thoughtful business owners and individuals. Our entire staff is touched at the level of support we are continuing to get. We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity.”