​8/12/20 | 9:30 am | Centralized PPE Ordering

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Obtaining critical personal protective equipment (PPE) remains a challenge amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many suppliers are currently not shipping small orders of difficult-to-source PPE items. For quick availability, and for orders of any size at competitive pricing for face masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, surface sprays and other common PPE for use in various non-clinical work activities, departments are encouraged, to the extent possible, to order PPE through General Stores. Departments can begin ordering PPE items from General Stores now through a General Stores requisition. Using a centralized ordering system will not only provide economies of scale, whereby cost savings can be passed on to departments, but is imperative to improving our allocation priority status within the national supply chain. This will allow the University to reliably source quality products with optimal protection.

General Stores also has an inventory of donated PPE items that is available at no cost while supplies last. Cloth masks for new employees or employees returning to campus can also be requested through General Stores (please provide badge IDs for cloth mask requests). Questions about availability of donated PPE and cloth masks should be directed to generalstore@uthscsa.edu. It is no longer necessary to request PPE or cloth masks using the CVPPE request form or email address.

This new PPE ordering process applies to all non-medical and non-dental clinic areas such as academic programs, research labs and clinical trials. The Medical and Dental clinics at the MARC and COHR, as well as some specialized research support units like Laboratory Animal Resources, have their own standardized process for stocking and ordering PPE supplies, and may continue purchasing PPE as usual. Departments should refrain from placing orders for PPE that is available through General Stores with external suppliers using Procards, PeopleSoft requisitions or Jagger (Direct Connect). If items are not in stock, General Stores will coordinate orders with the Procurement team to fill requests as quickly as possible.

Departments should continue to obtain cleaning kits to sanitize surfaces within their offices using the Sanitation Supplies Request Form through Facilities Management. Building common areas and restrooms will continue to be cleaned and maintained by Facilities Management and cleaning supplies for these areas should not be acquired through this process.

What You Can Expect

General Stores has been evaluating demand and ramping up inventory levels with critical PPE items that remain in short supply through the national supply chain, as well as with abundantly available and regularly purchased PPE items. Tiered protection, quality and costing options will be offered. Orders will be delivered or departments will be notified when orders are ready for pick up as requested. Orders for PPE not available through General Stores will need to be submitted via a basic requisition and may require additional time to acquire. Departments should review the General Stores catalogue, as it will be regularly updated with newly available items.

Please note N95 face masks continue to be one of the hardest PPE items to source. Priority for N95 masks will continue to be given to clinical areas. Requests for N95 masks should be routed to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to verify this level of protection is needed for the activities being performed by the requestor. Departments should only place orders for N95 masks after an evaluation of their need has been assessed by EH&S. EH&S approval should be included with N95 mask orders and departments should arrange to be fitted by EH&S. Careful consideration should be given to N95 mask orders, and departments should understand N95 masks may not be readily available through General Stores or outside suppliers.

For questions or suggestions of PPE to add to its inventory, please contact General Stores at 210-567-5982 or generalstore@uthscsa.edu.

Ginny Gomez-Leon, MBA, CPA
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Article Categories: Timely Updates