WALINGFORD, CT -- In the fall of 2018, neither Gaylord Specialty Healthcare nor Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority (CHEFA) could foresee how important the grant request and CHEFA’s positive decision would be 13 months into the future. Gaylord requested funds to purchase new ventilators and to create an educational video for families considering caring for a loved one at home on a ventilator. CHEFA awarded Gaylord a $75,000 grant for that request in early 2019.
When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, Gaylord immediately began preparing for the expected waves of patients. With the reports of many patients needing ventilators, we knew there would likely be a high demand for this equipment not only at Gaylord but also at local acute care hospitals.
In mid March, Lorraine Cullen, Gaylord’s director of respiratory therapy, was contacted by several hospitals to see if Gaylord had extra ventilators to loan. "Hartford Healthcare reached out via two directors from within their network – one from Midstate Medical Center and the other from Hartford Hospital. I had worked with both directors in the past," explained Cullen. "They asked if we had any vents we could lend them because they were hitting their max and were worried about running out."
Cullen quickly evaluated Gaylord’s vent inventory, trying to balance what she might be able to offer with Gaylord’s current and anticipated patient load. "We had purchased new Trilogy ventilators through the CHEFA grant and that allowed us to decommission three transport vents," she said. "Because we had the new vents we could loan the decommissioned vents as well as an additional emergency management vent."
"When we got the Trilogy vents we took the three transport vents out of our count," she noted. "Having the extra vents helped us to be more flexible and better able to share resources during this time of intense need."
The loaned vents were returned to Gaylord toward the end of May. Cullen said she didn’t know if they were put into use but she was glad to be able to offer the equipment to help fulfill a possible shortfall. "No one can predict what might be needed during a pandemic. But we were grateful that as a result of the CHEFA grant we had the decommissioned vents to loan," said Cullen.
For more information on Gaylord Specialty Healthcare call 203-284-2881 or visit www.gaylord.org.
For more information about CHEFA’s Grant Programs please call Betty Sugerman Weintraub, Grant Program Manager, at 860-761-8428 or visit www.chefa.com.