Local foundation boosts ventilator and PPE stocks

2 April 2020
Arman Schwarz - Tibra Capital Foundation with Professor Kate Curtis, Dr Alan Davey-Quinn, Nicole Sheppard and Dr Bruce Ashford

Local hospitals will receive a major boost to their critical supplies, including additional life-saving equipment and thousands of surgical masks, thanks to a donation by the Tibra Capital Foundation as COVID-19 preparedness continues.

ISLHD Board Chair, Professor Denis King and Chief Executive Margot Mains, have warmly welcomed the $250,000 contribution, which will significantly boost the District’s capacity during this unprecedented time.
“We will receive six additional ventilators; 24,000 speciality and surgical masks; spot monitors; and high flow oxygen machines, which we are incredibly grateful to receive.

“Further to this, three ventilators that the Tibra Capital Foundation donated to Wollongong Private Hospital have also been made available for use at Wollongong Hospital.

“To have the Tibra Capital Foundation make such a major contribution to local services during this time is truly fantastic. It is greatly appreciated by our staff and our entire community. We know it will make a huge difference to supporting our efforts in dealing with the challenging times ahead,” said Prof King.

“Sourcing additional equipment that’s in short supply world-wide has been difficult for health care providers across the globe, so to have not only the funds but also the manpower to help procure these goods has been an absolute blessing.

“We are incredibly thankful to everyone at Tibra for their work in securing and funding these vital supplies,” said Ms Mains.

So far, the Tibra Capital Foundation has been able to procure:

  • 12,000 N95 Masks
  • 12,000 Surgical Masks
  • 1,000 Gowns
  • 1 SonoSite Ultrasound machine
  • 2 high flow oxygen machines
  • 3 Connex Spot Monitors
  • 6 Medtronic PB980 Ventilators
  • 1 LUCAS machine.


Tibra Capital Foundation - background

The idea started when one of Tibra’s Directors saw the spike in ventilator demand in Europe in late February. The Tibra Capital Foundation had independently been trying to find ways to help, and got involved shortly after by funding an additional six ventilators for the LHD. By then they had largely sold out, and the TCF set about trying to better understand the procurement needs of local hospitals and how they could continue to provide support.

The TCF approached the LHD and were given a list of the most in-demand items. The TCF rounded up volunteers within Tibra, both from the TCF committee and staff more broadly, to scope, source and fund highly sought after products. The consumables proved to be most bit tricky. By coincidence Tibra had a contact in the tailoring industry in London, whose Chinese suppliers (of bespoke suits) had converted their factories to produce hospital PPE when the COVID outbreak started in Wuhan. As they had the required certifications Tibra was able to contract them to produce the 24,000 N95 and surgical masks as well as 1000 gowns on very short notice.


Photo: (L-R) Arman Schwarz - Tibra Capital Foundation, Professor Kate Curtis - ISLHD Emergency Clinical Nurse Consultant, Dr Alan Davey-Quinn - ISLHD Staff Specialist Critical Care, Nicole Sheppard - General Manager Wollongong Hospital, and Dr Bruce Ashford - Coordinator of COVID Task Group Wollongong Hospital.