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A Donation Offers a Breath of Relief

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George and Loretta Whitesides donate PAPRs to Antelope Valley Medical Center

Man holding a PAPR

Lancaster, CA, January 26, 2021 – The Antelope Valley Medical Center Foundation recently received a donation from George and Loretta Whitesides. Benefiting the hospital, Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) received 20 Powered Air Purifying Respirators, valued at $25,000. The units will help protect the hospital’s frontline workers treating COVID-19 patients.

"Antelope Valley Medical Center’s staff have made huge sacrifices over the course of this pandemic, and we must all do everything we can to support them and their families. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help by donating additional respirator units, which provide extra protection for the frontline nurses and doctors who are saving lives every day," said George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer at Virgin Galactic.

A Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) is an air-purifying respirator that can be used to protect healthcare workers who may be exposed to aerosolized pathogens causing acute respiratory infections. A PAPR uses a blower to pass contaminated air through a HEPA filter, which eliminates the contaminant, and supplies purified air to a face piece. AVMC’s Disaster Preparedness department accepted the donation and will distribute the PAPRs among the critical care units treating COVID-19 patients.

“We must look outside of conventional paths of obtaining the necessary tools needed to protect our healthcare workers. The opportunity presented itself with the Whitesides, and we’re grateful for the generous donation made by George and his wife, Loretta,” said Ed Mirzabegian, CEO of Antelope Valley Medical Center. “All hospitals are facing similar challenges, and we’re doing everything possible to ensure our frontline workers have the PPE (personal protective equipment) needed to do their job.”

About Antelope Valley Medical Center

Antelope Valley Medical Center, the only full-service, acute-care hospital in the Antelope Valley, has been delivering exceptional care to the community for 65 years. It offers the region’s only trauma center, pediatric unit, NICU, inpatient mental health care, labor and delivery, Accredited Chest Pain Center/STEMI Receiving Center, Advanced Primary Stroke Center and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. More information is available at or by calling 661- 949-5000. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @antelopevalleyhospital.


Cynthia Frausto
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Cell: 661-433-6472