Local hospital had head start on supplies after stocking up following H1N1

Coronavirus

Aurora, Colo. (KDVR) — Keeping UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital stocked with supplies during a pandemic has been challenging.

“Blood, sweat and tears at times,” said Glenn Schmidt, the director of supply chain.

But he had been preparing for a long time.

Ten years ago, after the H1N1 flu virus hit Colorado, Schmidt decided he wanted to plan for a pandemic. So, he started gathering critical supplies like masks, gowns and gloves to keep in reserve. Staff called it a “Z Hold,” and joked it was for a zombie apocalypse.

“The zombie hold, ‘Z hold,’ in the event of … and here we are now,” Schmidt said.

That unthinkable event is now here in the form of COVID, and the ‘Zombie’ hold has helped the hospital get by.

“We knew we had to do more. We were going to have to go out there, shake the bushes, find product, but it gave us runway, time to start to react to this,” Schmidt said.

The hospital continues with its conservation measures, hoping to be prepared for a surge.

“We need to continue to be prepared. We’re not out of the woods with this. There will continue to be shortages that will continue to come,” he said.

But if a zombie apocalypse does ever come, Schmidt jokes that his hospital will be better prepared.

“That could come next,” he joked. “It is 2020!” 

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