State launches 'Stop Ebola' website

See how you can help on Maryland's new “Stop Ebola” website.

The state has launched a new website to help corral donations for areas in West Africa afflicted by the Ebola virus.

The first donations as a result of the partnership between the Department of Business and Economic Development, other state agencies, nonprofit and private groups shipped last week, according to DBED. They included more than $60,000 worth of medical supplies, including protective suits, syringes and rehydration solution from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Potomac-based Creatv Microtech and Cera Products, which funded part of its gift through the Child Health Foundation of Maryland.

DBED Secretary Mike Gill said in a statement the effort reinforces DBED's relationship with the private sector, as well as other work in the fight against Ebola happening in the state. The website includes a list of needed items developed by Liberia's Health Ministry.

"Maryland is on the front lines of fighting the Ebola virus, from early clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health to a number of Maryland companies developing vaccines," said DBED Secretary Mike Gill. "This effort, bringing together government, non-profits and the private sector, is another way that we can give health care workers in West Africa the tools and resources that are so critically needed to help save lives."

The idea grew out of discussions held after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, when John "Jock" T. Menzies, the late head of the Terminal Corp. and founder of the American Logistics Aid Network approached DBED willing to ship donations, said Tim LaValle, DBED director of general services.

"That always stuck with me," said LaValle, who organized the effort. "Unfortunately we couldn't help out with hospital beds, but when this crisis came on board the first thing I thought about was Jock."

Other groups involved in the effort include the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA); the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI); International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC); as well as LIFT, a not-for-profit logistics provider that is working with the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), Airlink and The Terminal Corp. of Baltimore.

To see ways to help: http://business.maryland.gov/stopebola.

nsherman@baltsun.com

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