May 5, 2021
New Jersey’s largest health network, in partnership with Health Innovations Unlimited and several New Jersey physicians, is helping to alleviate COVID-19’s devastating impact in India
(May 5, 2021) Edison, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Health announced today it is donating 400,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies including oxygen concentrators, reusable gowns and hand sanitizer to support the COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts in India.
“There is a deepening health care crisis in India as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The international community must do all it can to support the COVID-19 relief efforts in India in order to thwart this global pandemic. Thanks to the leadership of our physicians including Dr. Manisha Santosh Parulekar, Dr. Sanjeev Kaul, Dr. Shubha Varma and many others, Health Innovations Unlimited and our Hackensack Meridian Health team members, we are able to send life-saving supplies to major cities across India.”
New Jersey physicians Manisha Parulekar, MD, chief of geriatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center, Sanjeev Kaul, MD, chief of trauma and critical care at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Shubha Varma, MD, general surgeon specialist at the Center for Vein Restoration observed the crisis unfolding in India and felt the urgency to act.
Dr. Varma launched the Oxygen to India Campaign to raise money to purchase oxygen concentrators, which are crucial in treating COVID-19 patients, and send the equipment to major cities across India. “Watching and reading what was happening on the ground moved me to take action. I knew we must do everything possible to help those men, women and children suffering from this devastating virus,” Dr. Varma said.
Dr. Parulekar brought the Oxygen to India Campaign to the attention of Hackensack Meridian Health executives, and the network immediately became involved, committed to not only help the campaign procure oxygen concentrators, but to help Dr. Parulekar and Dr. Varma work through the logistics necessary to get this equipment to India as quickly as possible. Hackensack Meridian Health is also working directly with Rakesh Shalia, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at FedEx Express, to coordinate the delivery of these oxygen concentrators.
To date, 200 oxygen concentrators have been purchased, sourced, and packed by Hackensack Meridian Health and are on track to be delivered to medical professionals at medical centers in the following major India cities this week:
- New Delhi
“The need is so great, but we are hopeful these critical supplies will help make a difference, reaching the most vulnerable patients who need it most,” added Dr. Parulekar. Just this week, the Indian healthy ministry reports more than 357,000 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to over 20 million. India’s health care system has been overwhelmed by the sharp rise in cases as it faces a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen supply and medicines to treat patients. Hackensack Meridian Health is funding a second shipment that will contain an additional 100 oxygen concentrators, reusable gowns, and hand sanitizers to be shipped out this week.