Volunteers for the global aid group BAPS Charities donated 5,000 surgical masks and 650 meals on Monday, April 27, for the entire staff at the Los Angeles Surge Hospital at St. Vincent Medical Center.
The hospital was brought up and running in a matter of weeks to treat COVID-19 patients through a public private partnership between the State of California, LA County Department of Health Services, Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente. It also includes some of the same physician groups that worked at the hospital in the Westlake district of Los Angeles before it declared bankruptcy earlier this year.
BAPS Charities is the charitable arm of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills. In addition to what was donated Monday, the charity has distributed 7,500 vegetarian meals in the past two weeks toward other health care workers and organizations on the front lines.
“We are humbled to show gratitude to the front line workers and offer our support during these trying times,” the charity said in a statement.
There are roughly 270 beds at the LA Surge Hospital. Volunteers with the group arranged with hospital administrators regarding how many meals they could accept, according to Yogin Patel, a volunteer spokesman for the charity. About 250 hot meals were brought in the morning and another 400 later in the day, Patel said. All the food was prepared by volunteers at the charity’s Chino Hills facility.
“We saw the news about a week ago,” Patel said. “We saw that the surge hospital was opening so we reached out to see what we could do to help.”
The hospital was treating 27 patients as of Tuesday, April 28, and the intensive care unit was 70% full, according to Kathleen Piche, a spokeswoman for the public health department.
BAPS Charities contributes to disaster relief around the globe in addition to environmental campaigns, such as an effort with The Nature Conservancy to plant trees. Much of the contributions to the LA Surge Hospital came from local members such as dentists and other medical professionals with excess face masks, while others donated money.