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SXU's SONHS Gives Back During COVID-19 Crisis


Saint Xavier University's (SXU) School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SONHS) recently came together to help those in need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The unprecedented circumstances leave many hospitals and non-profit facilities in need of critical supplies, and the nursing faculty and students at SXU have been quick to respond, exemplifying our Mercy mission and core values in their actions. 

SXU has strong relationships with many local hospitals and nursing agencies. When Lynn Hennessy, Advocate Christ Hospital's chief nursing officer, reached out to Professor Charlene Bermele, DNP, RN, CNE, to see if SXU had any personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate to the hospital, the Nursing Department went into action swiftly. Professor Tina Dorau, MSN, RN, CRRN, CNE, CHSE, director of the SONHS Lab, reviewed SXU's inventory, and the department was able to donate 200 isolation gowns, 500 gloves and over 600 face masks to the hospital to meet their urgent needs.

"It's incredibly important to make contributions like these to help combat the spread of this disease," said Bermele. "While gloves, masks and gowns are simple items, they are huge in prevention of disease spread and protecting health care workers."

Members of the Nursing Department also donated paper products, blankets, cleaning supplies and more to Big Run Wolf Ranch, a non-profit educational facility which specializes in the education and conservation of North American wildlife. Sigma Theta Tau and the Student Nurses Association supported the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concern for the Earth with their donation to help the ranch's local, national and global education efforts. Providing the ranch with needed supplies allows the facility more time to focus on educating the public and caring for their wildlife.

"It is important to help meet the immediate needs of not only people in our community, but also facilities that support education about the environment and animals in our country. We must support facilities whose aim is to protect the environment and improve the knowledge about these very important animals. Without predators, grasslands and plant life become overwhelmed. Nature requires balance, and all plants, animals and insects are needed to maintain that delicate balance," said Dorau.

Those who are currently working and learning remotely can still help out by continuing to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines of handwashing, social distancing and sheltering in place as much as possible to prevent the spread of disease and protect others. To meet the great demand for critical supplies, any knowledge of someone who has access to supplies can be shared with Dr. Bermele at, who will make sure the appropriate sources receive them, and donations to Big Run Wolf Ranch can be made online at their website.

The community can also unite in the power of prayer. "Our mission calls us to pray for all of those working first-hand with patients and for the patients and families affected by the disease. Pray for the whole world to recover from this physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually," said Bermele.

"Service calls for us to use our gifts, talents and abilities to advance the genuine well-being of our community and those we encounter," said Dorau.

The core value of compassion compels us to stand with and embrace others in their suffering that, together, we may experience God's liberating and healing presence, and the SXU community couldn't be prouder of SONHS's valued contributions. Together, we are SXU!