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Peach Tree Dental donates thousands of gloves to medical workers



MONROE, La. – When Dr. Jay Howell saw the need in the medical community for protective gear, he jumped in to help.

Dr. Howell and Jesse Roberts, with Peach Tree Dental, started asking their suppliers about extra gloves in their warehouses.

“I went out and started looking actually through our food services – I’m in the restaurant business – and searching all their inventory, I actually found medical grade gloves in our food warehouses,” says Dr. Howell.

In total, they’re donating almost 100,000 gloves to the Ouachita Parish Police Jury and Homeland Security in Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes.

Ouachita Police Jury President Shane Smiley says this donation is huge for hospitals and medical clinics. He says even when staff deal with patients for issues other than the coronavirus, they have to use more precautions because you never know if that person was exposed.

“Hospitals, just the general care, just getting into the hospital now you’re using masks when you didn’t. More people are using more gloves per patient than ever before,” says Smiley.

And for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Ouachita Parish, this donation couldn’t come soon enough. He says they do inventory of supplies at hospitals around Northeast Louisiana to find out where the shortages are.

“All the hospitals, all your EMT’s, fire department, police department, we were doing inventory by the case [..of gloves], now we’re doing inventory by the box [..of gloves], that’s how short we are,” says Neal Brown, Director of Ouachita Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Dr. Howell says when he heard Drew Brees and Darren Balsamo were donating masks to the state, he reached out to make sure some of those masks would end up in our region too.

Roberts says their offices at Peach Tree Dental are still open for emergencies, but they’re also offering video visits for patients too. He says in some of their rooms they’ll do a procedure, and then keep the room empty for at least 24 hours before another procedure takes place.

Now, Dr. Howell says he’s encouraging other medical professionals in the private sector to come forward and use their distributors to find extra supplies to donate.