Local hospitals have a new boost in medical supplies in a true Texas Connects Us moment Friday morning.
Long-distance friendships and connections between the American Paint Horse Association, based in Fort Worth, and horse enthusiasts in China led to the donation.
Spokesperson Cristin Conner credited APHA boardmember Michelle Wang of Plano for bringing it all together.
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"She played an integral role in getting the medical equipment from China into the hands of American healthcare providers as quickly as possible," Conner said in a news release.
Here's how it happened.
Conner said Wang introduced the Chinese group to paint horses and the APHA during a trade mission to AnPing County back in December 2019.
The group, which includes representatives from the China Horse Industry Association, AnPing County in Hebei Province, the AnPing County Equine Enterprise Directors Association, Ba Jun Heng Tong Equine Club and AnPing County Bao Ping Real Estate Development Company, had planned to visit APHA and the North Texas area in March, but the trip was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Conner says the group asked about donating masks to the association.
Executive Director Billy Smith instead knew local hospitals needed the protective gear.
And two weeks later on April 9th, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital received 600 N95 respirators, 6,000 surgical masks, 32 pairs of eye-protection glasses and 64 surgical gowns. Cook Children’s Medical Center received 4,000 surgical masks, 64 pairs of glasses and 32 surgical gowns.
Conner said BoZhan Wei, owner of Ba Jun Heng Tong Equine Club, coordinated the purchase of the medical supplies donated on behalf of APHA to the healthcare facilities.