MUSC Health to use Boeing-delivered supplies for COVID-19 testing and outreach

May 12, 2020
Boeing Dreamlifters that delivered eye goggles and masks.
A crowd of media and leaders gather at Boeing in North Charleston to witness the delivery of medical supplies from China. Photos provided by Boeing

Three Boeing planes known as Dreamlifters have delivered more than 150,000 protective eye goggles and face shields from China to help MUSC Health’s statewide COVID-19 community testing and outreach efforts, which leaders say are critical to recovery and a staged economic revitalization.

Boeing’s president and CEO was on hand to mark the occasion in North Charleston, along with the president of the Medical University of South Carolina, the governor and other state leaders.

MUSC President David Cole thanked the Boeing team. “These goggles and face shields will allow us to continue to expand our ability to test and monitor for COVID-19 as businesses and communities start to move forward. Increasing access to testing in the areas of greatest need throughout our state is an essential part of this work,” Cole said.

MUSC President David Cole speaks at Boeing in North Charleston. 
MUSC President David Cole says the Boeing deliveries will help MUSC Health reach people in underserved communities.

“We must continue to protect our most vulnerable populations. Boeing and MUSC have a longstanding partnership, and today’s delivery is yet another example of two great South Carolina institutions coming together in support of our local community.”

Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun said the delivery will put essential personal protective equipment in the hands of South Carolina’s frontline health care professionals. “I am incredibly proud of our Boeing team members throughout the world for their work to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and thankful for our government and industry partners that have joined us in the pandemic response.”

MUSC Health, under the guidance of the state legislature and in partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has established mobile screening and collection sites in rural and underserved areas. 

The mobile setup allows health care providers to rotate sites, reaching people experiencing barriers to health care access for COVID-19 screening. Rural and underserved communities have experienced disparities in access to COVID-19 screening, testing, prevention and treatment in South Carolina and across the U.S.

The MUSC Health team leading this effort was the first in the U.S. to launch a combined virtual urgent care platform and drive-through specimen collection site. Now, it’s bringing a version of this successful model to the communities that need it most.

Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport, with Atlas Air operating the flights on behalf of Boeing. Boeing has scheduled additional flights to deliver a total of 400,000 units of personal protective equipment to MUSC in the near future.