31 FW delivers 70,000 COVID-19 PPE items to local Italian hospitals

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 31st Fighter Wing donated approximately 44,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) items for healthcare workers to the Ospedale Civile di Pordenone (Pordenone Hospital) in Italy, March 5, 2021.

“These protection items are really important for our physicians, nurses and assistant nurses,” said Dr. Joseph Polimeni, Pordenone Health Authority District CEO. “It’s a pleasure for us to be able to receive this donation.”

An additional 26,000 PPE items for healthcare workers were delivered to three other local hospitals March 8th, all of which will be used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The PPE items that were delivered included surgical masks, two sizes of surgical gowns and gloves that provide increased protection for the healthcare workers at the hospitals.   

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have PPE shortages,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Tara Hall, 31st Medical Support Squadron Tricare operation and patient and administration flight commander. “Delivering 70,000 PPE items to these local hospitals will provide them protection against the virus and increase their supply.”

Dr. Joseph Polimeni said he hopes to continue to strengthen the collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and the organization in the future.

“We continue to work closely with our Italian partners in the fight against COVID-19,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Wade Adair, 31st Medical Group commander. “This donation from the 31st Fighter Wing to our local community hospital enhances our partnership and provides vital personal protective equipment to Italian healthcare personnel in the region who work tirelessly to keep us safe. We are all neighbors and are thankful to be able to help during these times.”

Aviano isn’t the only base making a difference in the lives of healthcare workers. Other bases around Italy, including Caserma Ederle Army Base and Sigonella Naval Air Station in Naples, are also donating PPE items to local hospitals to help reduce the exposure of Covid-19 to healthcare workers.

A team of 26 Airmen from the 31st MDG, 31st Maintenance Squadron and the 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron made it all possible. They planned, sealed, sorted and delivered the boxes to the hospitals.

“The humanitarian effort was definitely a way for us to give back to the local host nation facilities for all they do so much for us and our families,” said Hall.

Approximately 700-800 Aviano outpatient and emergency patients are sent to host-nation medical facilities to be treated monthly.