DES MOINES, Iowa — In a time when hospitals are in critical need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to battle the coronavirus, Doctor Zach Kouri is going above and beyond to help the cause.
This comes after Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a suspension of nonessential medical procedures last week, including dental procedures, in an effort to redirect PPE from those procedures to hospitals helping fight COVID-19.
Kouri, a dentist at the Ingersoll Dental Group, has been working with dentists across the metro to collect and donate PPE to Polk County Health Services.
“It feels good to actually be able to help do something in this time,” he said. “Everybody is stressed. Nobody knows what exactly is going to happen.”
As a founding member of the Iowa Dental Board, Kouri is heavily involved in the Iowa Mission of Mercy, an annual two-day dental clinic for those in need of services. The November event was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19 and uncertainty over how long the pandemic’s effects will last. Now, Kouri and other dentists are working to donate the PPE supply for that event so health care workers can use those supplies to battle the coronavirus.
“We’re just trying to get it to our partners, health care nurses and physicians — people on the front lines who are going to need this equipment much more than we do at the moment,” he said.
So far, Kouri has collected and donated 505 boxes of protective masks, 895 boxes of gloves and 175 containers of sanitary wipes.
He asks that anyone, whether in the medical field or not, who has personal protective equipment to please give what they can. Kouri plans to make another round of donations Tuesday morning.