Rep. Chris Smith Works with NJ State Troopers’ & NJ Nurses’ Unions to Obtain PPE Donations

April 16, 2020

WALL, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An ongoing donation drive headed by the New Jersey State Troopers union and the Health Care Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE; representing registered nurses and other health care workers) got a major boost this week receiving thousands of Personal Protection Equipment (gloves and suits ) steered their way by local congressman, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04).

The PPEs were donated by Ansell, an international healthcare products company with a headquarters in Iselin, NJ.

“The troopers and nurses launched their donation drive to solicit donations of PPE, and Ansell’s contributions are a welcome addition,” said Rep. Chris Smith. “A big thanks to the troopers and HPAE for working together to run this donation drive and bring more protective equipment to those working on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Because their PPE supplies were dangerously low, the State Troopers Fraternal Association (STFA) and the HPAE began asking for donated gloves, gowns and other PPE used by first responders and health care professionals. Wayne Blanchard, President of 1,500-member STFA, and Debbie White, RN, President of the 14,000-member HPAE reached out to Smith after seeing news reports about Smith’s work with Ansell to win the release large quantities of gloves held up since October in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

“We’d like to thank Congressman Smith for his initiative in cutting through the red tape to get supplies to first responders,” said STFA President Wayne Blanchard. “We’d like to thank our partners in the business community, particularly Ansell, for supporting our first responders during this unprecedented pandemic.”

“As COVID-19 continues to spread across New Jersey, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed in every hospital, nursing home and healthcare facility,” said HPAE President White. “We are grateful for Congressman Smith’s efforts to bring these supplies to frontline caregivers. These supplies from Ansell will help to ensure that healthcare workers stay healthy and on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle.” 

“Ansell is truly honored to support the STFA and HPAE by donating medical exam gloves and protective suits to help protect these heroes as they protect our communities,” said Renae Leary, Chief Commercial Office of the Americas of the Australian-based Ansell. “Seeing as our America’s headquarters is in Iselin, NJ, we are acutely aware of the continued need for PPE and are proud to be able to support our local community.”

Blanchard said items may be dropped off at STFA’s headquarters at 2634 Route 70 in Manasquan (Wall, Township) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For drop off arrangements or other questions, donators may call (732) 528-6388 or email info@staf.org. Monetary donations to purchase PPE for the drive are also accepted, Blanchard said. Click here for the STFA and HPAE’s press release announcing the drive.

In a separate ongoing effort, Smith has been working to help obtain medical masks for New Jersey from the Taiwanese government. Also, on Friday, a Hong Kong human rights organization donated 4,000 surgical masks to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold in Smith’s district, as a thank you for his longstanding support of Hong Kong in its struggle to stay free and secure in the shadow of its huge and hostile neighbor, the People’s Republic of China.