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Sycamore and Lebanon neighborhood bridges combine efforts to donate baby monitors to local hospitals

By Jessica Schmidt | March 31, 2020 at 10:53 PM EDT - Updated March 31 at 11:19 PM

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hospital workers have been forced to come up with creative ways to communicate during the coronavirus pandemic, which is prompting some to ask for baby monitor donations.

Nationwide, doctors, nurses and medical caregivers are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. A spokesperson for TriHealth says at Bethesda North Hospital, it is no different.

Rebecca Strole is a director of Neighborhood Bridges - Lebanon.

“They’re compromising their own health in some instances, so I mean they’re the real heroes," Strole told FOX19 NOW.

To help, the federal government is relaxing hospital safety standards. Officials said that means places like Bethesda North can add hospital beds in new locations, such as school gyms, hotels or temporary structures in hospital parking lots.

According to a TriHealth spokesperson, all caregivers must wear full PPE, or personal protective equipment, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Medical workers say it has made communication complicated.

“[They wear] N95 masks over their mouths and a full face shield over their face, so the traditional call light system just wasn’t working," Strole said.

TriHealth’s Director of Community Relations Jeanette Altenau says donated baby monitors can help.

“These donations, these baby monitors will be key to allowing our physicians and our nurses to stay in immediate contact with our patients in this new setting," Altenau said.

The Lebanon and Sycamore chapters of the non-profit Neighborhood Bridges jumped in to help by posting about the need for donations online.

Strole said the response was rapid.

“Within 48 hours, we have supplied now 50 baby monitors to Bethesda hospital, and we have so many now that we’re starting to supply the COVID-19 unit at Good Sam as well," Strole said.

Altenau says that Bethesda North staff members are not using the baby monitors yet, but with the future uncertain, they want to be prepared for anything.

“It means a lot to them," Altenau said. "There’s not a lot that most of us can do for them, but those gestures go a very long way to caring for them while they’re caring for us.”

The baby monitors, Altenau said, can be brand new or used.

Neighborhood Bridges reps say they have fulfilled their need, but they are still getting more donations. They plan to give them to more hospitals.

To learn more about Neighborhood Bridges, including the Sycamore chapter and the Lebanon chapter, visit the websites.

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