Getting PPE from Western State Hospital to other DSHS facilities

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PPE piled up in Building 11’s basement

The basement of Building 11 on the Western State Hospital campus has been commandeered with Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, face shields, N95 masks, gowns, caps, thermometers, COVID-19 testing kits and two 270-gallon tanks for hand sanitizer.

This impromptu warehouse below the Western State Hospital Commissary sends out over 5,000 pieces of PPE a week to all DSHS 24/7 facilities statewide.

Everything is organized and the two warehouse workers hired specifically to track the comings and goings into the PPE warehouse section are meticulous in their tracking and arranging of supplies. They track what’s been ordered by DSHS, what has been received via FEMA by the State Emergency Operations Center through the Department of Enterprise Services and what has been donated. Western has received many donations of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the day that the DSHS Area Command Logistics Team visited the Western PPE warehouse, 350,000 N95 masks had been delivered that morning. Michael Brown and Nicholas (Dru) Jones had already broken down the shipment boxes to fit in the short ceiling space the basement provides. Neither Mike nor Dru have worked for state government before but both have years of experience working in a warehouse.

They have their routine down to a science, making order out of what can be chaos as shipments come in, sometimes without warning.

Jennie Wilsonbeard and the dedicated Consolidated Business Services Team from the DSHS Facilities Finance & Analytics Administration, since March, have been working to meet the PPE needs of all DSHS institutions and all field offices statewide. Bruce Elrod, Procurement and Supply Specialist and his team work out of Western’s Commissary, figuring out how to also meet the typical day-to-day needs of Western.

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