Longtime supporters of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), The Vincent Club recently turned its attention to helping Mass General’s COVID-19 response efforts.
“I can’t emphasize enough just how quickly [The Vincent Club] have responded to the needs of the department.”
Founded in 1892 with a mission to raise money for the Vincent Memorial Hospital, The Vincent Club is a volunteer organization that supports women’s health and wellbeing through educational forums and fundraising. In 1947, The Vincent Club formed an official partnership with Mass General and has since been a prominent source of support to the Department of OB/GYN.
Having weathered many crises throughout its longstanding history — including the Spanish Flu, two world wars, the Great Depression, the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing — and now led by President Mary Feeny, The Vincent Club has once again mobilized its expansive network to ensure the health and safety of patients and frontline workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting COVID-19 Frontline Workers
Shortly after COVID-19 hit Boston, it became clear that personal protective equipment (PPE) was in high demand. The OB/GYN team experienced an unprecedented shortage in essential PPE, and anxiety quickly mounted.
Jeffrey Ecker, MD, chief of the Department of OB/GYN, turned to The Vincent Club for help. Just hours after his request, the delivery of a prototype face shield, designed and manufactured by a Vincent Club member, made its way to Dr. Ecker’s home. Within days, The Vincent Club had delivered 600 face shields to the department. The arrival of this much-needed PPE alleviated anxiety among the staff and was used immediately.
“Who we are as a support network for women’s health has been engrained in our work ever since the club was established.”
“When the women of the Vincent Club say they’re going to do something, they do it without hesitation and I can’t emphasize enough just how quickly they have responded to the needs of the department,” Dr. Ecker says.
Women Helping Women
Monitoring blood pressure is an essential part of prenatal appointments, but with physical distancing, it means that women must have access to a blood pressure cuff at home. “Having a cuff can mean the difference between allowing patients to stay home for virtual care versus requiring them to travel to the hospital,” Dr. Ecker says.
The Vincent Club once again answered the call by providing 120 blood pressure cuffs to pregnant women in need. According to Ms. Feeny, The Vincent Club is prepared to continue until the need is fully met. “Who we are as a support network for women’s health has been engrained in our work ever since the club was established,” she says.
Vincent Club members also plan to distribute care packages to new mothers in underserved communities. This is an expansion of a program that has been ongoing for over 10 years, providing clothing and other essentials for new mothers and infants in need. Care packages will include supplies like onesies, formula, diapers, and will now also include face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Reflecting on the rapid response of The Vincent Club to COVID-19, Dr. Ecker says, “Just knowing there is a group of people out there thinking about the people delivering care and the patients in the community is a real gift.”
To learn how you can support Mass General’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.