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Cookeville Regional answers the call to help Ukraine

When the Tennessee Hospital Association, Gov. Bill Lee, former Gov. Bill Haslam and former Senator Bill Frist issued a request for hospitals across the state to gather medical supplies to help Ukrainian refugees, Cookeville Regional Medical Center answered the call.

On Friday, March 11, Cookeville Regional’s departments gathered five pallets full of needed supplies from the nursing floors, pharmacy, imaging, primary care, labor and delivery, wound care, the operating room and anesthesia.

“We have the third largest donation in the state behind Vanderbilt and HCA,” said Melinda Poston, Cookeville Regional’s director of materials management. “That’s impressive to be in that ranking.”

She got the request Friday morning, sent out a mass email to directors and had four pallets secured by Friday afternoon.

“It was a really quick turn around,” she said. “We all see what’s going on through the news coverage, and especially seeing the aftermath of the maternity hospital getting hit really encouraged everyone to help get supplies together.”

Poston got the message out to directors to gather any supplies before 11 a.m. on Friday and by 6:30 that evening, supplies were gathered and ready to go.

By Monday morning, another pallet of supplies was added, making it five.

“I’m proud of what we did today and I know you all are, too,” said Poston in an email to department directors sent out Friday evening. “Thank you all so much for taking time out of your day today to search for the supplies and get to us.”

Monday afternoon, a crew from the Tennessee National Guard came to pick up the supplies to load onto a C130 to take to Poland.

“This is one of many ways Cookeville Regional helps those in need, no matter where the help is needed,” said Paul Korth, Cookeville Regional CEO. “We are happy and eager to come together and help in any way we can.”

The American Hospital Association is also making a donation to the U.S. Ukraine Foundation to support its critical humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, which includes covering the costs of sending medical supplies and supporting refugees through the Kyiv Rotary Refugee Initiative.

The U.S. Ukraine Foundation is coordinating the distribution of the donated medical supplies through its operation “Ukraine AirLIFT.”

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