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SBU professor, organizations spark drive to aid Chinese medical personnel

Feb 21, 2020

A biology professor and two St. Bonaventure-based organizations are spearheading a campaign to raise money to protect medical personnel in the Chinese city devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Wuhan, located in the province of Hubei, is coping with more than 60% of the more than 75,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported around the world, said Dr. Xiaoning Zhang, a biology professor at SBU.

“The medical staff in Wuhan has been hammered by this overwhelming demand in care,” Zhang said. “Due to a shortage of proper protection gear, more than 1,000 medical staffers have been infected and, sadly, some have passed away.

“If the situation can’t be controlled soon,” she said, “the ripple effect of this outbreak will affect many more with other medical conditions due to the lack of medical facilities, staff and supplies.”

The fundraising effort is in collaboration with BonaResponds, an SBU-based disaster relief club that started in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and Positiveripples, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with ties to several SBU-based clubs and initiatives, including BonaResponds, Haiti Scholarships, BonaSIMM and Enactus.

Chinese and American citizens in the Olean area are also assisting in the campaign.

Funds raised will be given to the American Chinese Culture & Education Foundation to purchase, transport and deliver medical supplies — hazmat suits, goggles, medical masks, gloves, breathing machines, etc. — directly to Wuhan hospitals, Zhang said.

“Any support will be deeply appreciated,” Zhang said. “We need to unite as global citizens to help the helpers, the medical personnel, in this fight.”


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2019, St. Bonaventure was named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.