Nebraskans helping make disposable gowns for Bryan Health

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 8:51 PM CDT
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Personal protective equipment is in high demand during the pandemic.

Bryan Health has gown orders coming in from China and Mexico but they won't get here until later this month.

Now Nebraskans are stepping up to help supply this immediate need.

One hospitalized COVID-19 patient can require doctors and nurses to use 150 gowns a day. With some help from volunteers, Bryan Health has a new PPE option.

"It just made my mind start thinking what can we do to help," said Sara Morris. "There has to be some way we can help."

Sara Morris is the Operations Director at Bryan Physician Network. She also supports the physicians and staff on the pandemic team.

"These people are like family to us," said Morris. "We want to keep them safe that is our whole goal."

Morris reached out to Blackburn Manufacturing Company seeing if they'd donate their vinyl products to help make gowns.

"Crazy time for sure," said Jennifer Blackburn Nielsen. "Whatever small part we can do to help anybody out we're more than happy and willing to do so if we can."

Blackburn Manufacturing is based out of Neligh. They make stake flags for marking lawns but now they're helping supply PPE.

"We took one roll down which is 1,000 feet of plastic and we said try this and if you figure something out let us know and we can sure get you more," said Blackburn Nielsen.

A pattern was designed which was taken to Duncan Aviation for cutting.

"Then Duncan Aviation arranged sewing groups of their employees at Duncan, St. Marks Methodist Church, another church, and Pius X High School."

Together they made 175 gowns in one week.

"When I delivered the first round of gowns today they just had tears in their eyes," said Morris. "So appreciative and so thankful that companies and volunteers would do this for them."

Blackburn says they are donating five more rolls and bringing them to Lincoln Thursday.