Auburn University Outreach’s Korea Corner donates critical medical supplies to area hospitals

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Auburn University’s Korea Corner and members of the local Korean community recently donated thousands of medical supplies to East Alabama Medical Center and other regional health care centers, addressing the critical shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers fighting COVID-19.

Korea Corner, part of the Office of Professional and Continuing Education in University Outreach, is a cultural resource center that promotes educational experiences and collaboration between Auburn faculty members, students and the local Korean community.

“In this time of unprecedented difficulty for so many of our friends and neighbors, Auburn University's Korea Corner is humbled to be able to do our part for the Auburn-Opelika community and the front line health care workers that are working tirelessly to keep our residents safe and healthy,” said Suhyun Suh, associate professor emerita and coordinator at Korea Corner.

The donation drive was a collaboration between Korea Corner, Auburn Korean School and Auburn Opelika Korean Church. With the support of the local Korean community and others, the group secured more than 13,020 medical KN95 and N95 protective masks, 50 gowns and 315 containers of hand sanitizer as well as 4,006 snack bars for medical workers at the forefront of COVID-19 patient care.

The supplies were delivered to East Alabama Medical Center, or EAMC, on Friday. EAMC’s ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Sam Price, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Chuck Beams, director of the Pharmacy and Government Relations,  received the donation from Suh, Auburn University Vice President for University Outreach Royrickers Cook, Auburn University Assistant Director of Global Leadership Training Initiative DongWoo Yu, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and Auburn Opelika Korean Church Senior Pastor Jun Mo Jeong, who provided a prayer for the hospital and its health care workers. A share of the supplies will also be delivered to the Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery at a later date.

“During difficult times it takes all of us to pitch in to help face the trials we are facing,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders. “I was thankful again to the Korea Corner and their resolute commitment to the local community. Thank you to each person who made a contribution to assist our health care personnel—this is how a caring community overcomes its common obstacles.”

Korea Corner was established in 2017 with the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Atlanta and the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach. Korea Corner houses a variety of materials on Korea for reference by Auburn students and members of the local community, and it provides educational resources for members of the Korean community designed to strengthen their connection to American culture and society. The ultimate goal of Korea Corner is to bridge the gaps between the Korean and non-Korean communities by promoting shared understanding and appreciation through collaborative efforts.

“Our Korea Corner staff and friends in the Korean community are great supporters of outreach programs and initiatives, especially now during the coronavirus crisis in our area,” said Cook. “This generous donation of critical medical protective supplies to our front line health care workers is a fine example of effective community engagement and the collective impact of Korea Corner and its constituents.”

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.