A continuing effort to help South Florida hospitals fight the COVID-19 battle has led to the donation of tens of thousands of face masks by FIU faculty and alumni.
Professor Qiang Kang and his wife Jing Xue led a grass roots effort to collect the critically needed masks for South Florida hospitals, and received donations of masks from over 200 individuals in the South Florida Chinese community, with the support of donations from FIU Business and other sources enabling her to purchase additional masks from China. Working tirelessly, the pair distributed more than 30,000 masks to local hospitals over a two-week period.
Meanwhile, FIU College of Business Dean Joanne Li received an email from Lin Gao of Huike Group, a Beijing-based educational software and project management company with many FIU alumni in leadership positions, offering to send masks from China. Li and her team connected Lin Gao to Cleveland Clinic and Memorial Hospital West, two area hospitals that had previously reached out to Jing Xue’s group for help in alleviating the critical shortage of face masks.
“The College of Business has always been our great partner,” said Lin Gao, general manager of international business for the Huike Group and an FIU alumna. “As alumni, we hope to give back to the FIU community and the community we once called home.”
Huike Group focuses on training software development professionals and project management in the areas of mobile Internet, cloud computing and Internet marketing. FIU alumni at Huike include Alec Fang, president of Huike, who holds a PhD in electrical engineering.
“Each of us feels a personal responsibility to protect our health care professionals, the front-line warriors in the battle against COVID-19,” Li said. “I am grateful for the work of our faculty, our friends and partners at Huike Group, and in our FIU communities around the world. Together, we form a global village of concern for each other.”
Mask donations from China reach South Florida nurses.
By early April, in spite of bureaucratic delays that have plagued mask shipments out of China, tens of thousands of surgical and KN-95 masks donated by Huike were in the hands of healthcare professions at Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston.
“On behalf of our MHS team, we would like to thank you for your generosity,” Maria J. Weinstein, director of nursing at Memorial Hospital West, said in an email to Huike and Li. She shared a photo of one of the COVID teams outside of their unit, wearing their protective equipment. “They were so happy to take a little break to say thank you. May you stay safe and we hope we can stay in touch.”
Li replied, “We simply cannot do enough for the sacrifices that you have made for the health of all of us here. We are indebted to your commitment and dedication to your profession and to all the patients and health of the community.”
“We send our heartfelt gratitude for everything you, your colleagues and hospitals have done and will do for the community.”