Crisis Fosters Generosity, Teamwork and Creativity

Paul Hamilton and helpers unload donated supplies for WashU dialysis centers

Local businessman Paul Hamilton (center) and helpers unload donated supplies for WashU dialysis centers.

Generosity

A huge shout-out and thank you goes to local business owner Paul Hamilton, who generously donated supplies to WashU Nephrology dialysis centers this past weekend.   Hamilton, the owner and operator of Hamilton Hospitality, a multi-concept restaurant group, donated nitrile gloves as well as hydrogen peroxide and bottles of 91% alcohol.  According to Hamilton, “You guys need it more than we do!”

The supplies are indeed needed and much appreciated during the current COVID-19 crises.  “We will use the alcohol and peroxide to make hand sanitizer,” says Jodean Baldauf, Sr. Director of Business Operations & Business Development in the Division of Nephrology.  “We are using many more supplies than normal to protect our patients and staff.”

Part of the supplies donated by Paul Hamilton for WashU dialysis centers.

Hamilton is also offering free sanitizer solution to anyone who wants it until supplies run out.  As stated in a news release on 3/23/20, he says, “We realized we had all the ingredients necessary to make 1000’s of gallons of sanitizer and it wasn’t doing anyone any good sitting on a shelf.  We are a strong company that is prepared to weather this storm and we want to do as much as we can to help those around us get through this difficult time.”

The free sanitizer (32 ounce limit per person) will be handed out daily between 12pm and 3pm in the parking lot of PW Pizza and Vin de Set located at 2017 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103.  If any money is collected, it will be given to their hourly staff who have been temporarily laid off during the shutdown.  All of the Hamilton Hospital locations (Eleven Eleven, Vin de Set, Moulin Events, PW Pizza, 21st Street Brewers Bar, Hamilton’s Urban Steakhouse & Grand Petite Market) are temporarily closed. See the full news release here.

Teamwork

The supplies donated by Hamilton are part of the ingredients being collected by WashU Nephrology clinicians and researchers who are making the hand sanitizer that will be distributed weekly to the dialysis units.

“It’s been great teamwork between clinicians and the research labs,” says Sanjay Jain, MD, PhD, director of the Kidney Translational Research Center (KTRC).  “It’s required a lot of feedback and running around to assemble all the ingredients, determine the ideal recipe, find appropriate containers and plan for the future.  It was a fun day!”

(From left) Amanda Knoten, Dr. Sanjay Jain, Jennifer Richardson and Dr. Meei-Hua Lin making hand sanitizer from donated ingredients.

In fact, to determine the ideal recipe for the DIY hand sanitizer, nephrologist George Jarad, MD, shuttled samples to one of the dialysis centers via his bike for the staff to try and give their opinions.  A final recipe, a modified WHO recommended hand rub formulation, was decided upon.  A concoction of 75% alcohol, 2.5% glycerol, and 0.125% peroxide appeared to work well and be the most tolerated.

“While we still have enough previously purchased hand sanitizer to last a week, supplies are unpredictable and considering what is going on in other states, we decided to make our own sanitizer to see how it works in order to be prepared for the worst case scenario,” says Jarad.

Jain pointed out that special thanks go to Meei-Hua Lin, PhD, and Jennifer Richardson from the Jeff Miner Lab, and Amanda Knoten from the Jain Lab, who actually made the preparation.

Creativity

The crisis is also inspiring division members to be creative when it comes to replenishing a dwindling supply of masks.  Several people have offered to sew masks, and a nurse at Forest Park dialysis center is working on a prototype.

If you are interested in donating supplies/services to our healthcare workers, please contact Jodean Baldauf.

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