Many Butler County businesses, groups donating needed protective gear to hospitals

Butler County entities are donating personal protective equipment to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Metal and electronics recycler Cohen donated more than 10,000 3M N95 masks to Butler County Emergency Management Agency last week. Matt Haverkos, director of Butler County EMA, said the donation doubled the agency’s capacity.

“What that’s allowed us to do is better fulfill the requests of the hospitals, health care and first responders … (and) to go back and make sure people have enough on hand as we’ve seen the numbers increase day by day,” Haverkos told the Journal-News.

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Butler County EMA, along with local public health organizations, has taken on materials from a national stockpile over the past two weeks and provided a path for the community, specifically industries, to donate necessary materials to the emergency reserve, he said.

“If there’s equipment you may have — gloves, masks, (safety) glasses, gowns — that would be available and that you’d be open to donating, we would process those and submit those out to the first responders, the public health (organizations) and health care folks that are in need of it,” Haverkos said.

Dana Wilmot, a nurse at Pinnacle Senior Care, recently posted to Facebook that supplies were needed. Kelly and Jeff Wilder, of Middletown's Voodoo Tattoo Parlor, saw that post because Wilmot was Jeff Wilder's nurse at Atrium Medical Center when he was sick several years ago.

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The tattoo parlor donated two cases of gloves, a half box of masks and two boxes of alcohol wipes, Kelly Wilder said.

“My husband told her we could get them to her because we were shut down anyway,” she said. “She met me at the shop and we cleared out what stock we had.”

The West Chester Fire Department receved a few donations from residents and donations of hand sanitizer from Silverback Distillery in Virginia and Flavor Producers in Sharonville, according to Troy Bonfield, the department’s captain of training and safety. It also received a box of N95 masks from GE in West Chester, he said.

As Miami faculty and staff closed down campus laboratory facilities in preparation for Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order last week, unused protective gear was collected for donation to health care workers, officials said Tuesday.

Most of the items were sent to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, UC Health, the Butler County Board of Health, Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital and Atrium Medical Center.

Rick Page, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, led a collection of supplies from research labs and teaching labs. The department donated more than 125,000 gloves and 750 goggles to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health.

The Miami University police department donated items including 10 boxes of gloves (250 per box) and 196 N95 respirators.

Dennis Tobin, associate professor of art, said Miami’s ceramics studio commonly uses N95 respirators as they mix their own clay and glazes from raw materials. He donated 120 N95 respirators to Oxford’s McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth.

Mercy Health and Atrium Medical Center contacted Miami University Regionals about the availability of PPE to spare, said Cathy Bishop-Clark, Regionals dean. Laboratory coordinators collected supplies, and Perry Richardson, senior director of media and community relations, delivered a car full of items to each facility.

The Regionals also collected cleaning and sanitizing supplies like wipes, paper towels and tissues to donate to the Hamilton Police Department.

Jeff Johnson, director of environmental health and safety, collected items from the animal care facility and departments across the Oxford campus, including biology, kinesiology and health, psychology and chemical, paper and biomedical engineering.

“We had about four full pickup truck loads of materials,” Johnson said. He and University Fire Marshall Rick Dusha picked up the items, which were then centrally stored by Robin Parker, general counsel for Miami, until they were donated.

Jim Oris, vice president for research and innovation, helped coordinate the campuswide collection of personal protective equipment.

“I am proud to work for a place like this,” Oris said. “The campus is beautiful, but the people make it special.”

Mercy Health announced Monday it has created a central donation mechanism for individuals and organizations looking to donate supplies for its facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s accepting donations of goggles, face shields, masks, latex gloves and Tyvek suits.

To make a supply donation or to find out facilities to donate to, write to with subject line: DONATION or call 888-383-8000. To protect the health and safety of its patients and care teams, donations should not be brought directly to any Mercy Health facilities.

Additional needs or details regarding donated supplies will be updated at Mercy Health said its quality, safety, supply chain and clinical teams are working together to evaluate the donations being gathered.

Step-by-step instructions for creating masks are available for download at

“In regards to handmade and non-clinical masks, standard issue masks are still the best way to protect our health care professionals,” Mercy said in a release Monday. “However, for the time being, we will be accepting handmade mask donations. These masks will go through an evaluation process before being used by either a health care associate or a patient.”

Those who wish to make a financial donation to support Mercy Health teams on the frontline of the epidemic may visit

Coronavirus resources

  • Ohio Department of Health hotline: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (staffed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day)
  • ODH updates:
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services helpline: 1-877-275-6364
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Butler County hotline: 1-844-4CRISIS
  • Ohio crisis text line: Text keyword "4HOPE" to 741 741
  • Butler County hotline for seniors who need help: 513-721-1025
  • Butler County hotline for those who want to help seniors: 513-623-3891
  • Complete Journal-News coverage:

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