The PPE Czar

Home Care Supervisor keeps Aides safe



For Home Care Aides these days, few things are more important than keeping themselves and their clients safe from contracting COVID-19.

They Personal Protective Equipment – PPE. They need gloves. They need masks. They need sanitizer. And they need all that in a constant supply, same as anyone working on the front lines in a battle.

Someone needs to be in charge. That someone is William Tran, Full Life’s new PPE czar.

William is one of Full Life’s Home Care Supervisors, who oversee and offer support to a cadre of Aides. Since December, though, William’s taken on new duties.

William is in charge of thousands of pieces of PPE – everything from N95 and KN95 masks to gowns and face masks, surgical-style masks, disposable

Home Care Supervisor William Tran stands among boxes of PPE at Full Life’s Columbia City offices.

gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaners. He’s like a military quartermaster.

“I’m monitoring the equipment, helping distribute across the sites, keeping the inventory,” William said, standing amid boxes of PPE stacked in a big room at Full Life’s Columbia City building on 35th Avenue South. This is the main stash. More equipment is distributed for Aides to pick up at Full Life offices in Ravenna and Federal Way.

Being PPE czar is just part of William’s new duties. He’s actually Full Life’s new COVID coordinator, a single contact person for Home Care Aides to learn about what’s new with the virus, keep up with safety measures.

“During the second large wave of infections beginning in the autumn of 2020, we realized that clients and caregivers needed additional support because of infections and possible exposures,” said Gregory Schaffer, Full Life Director of Home Care. “We needed someone with a “light touch” to handle what are often scary situations. We realized we needed a single point of contact, especially as it seemed that a vaccine would be forthcoming.

PPE supplies ready for distribution at the Columbia City office.

“Recently, the winter infection wave has subsided and given way to a huge demand for guidance in getting vaccinated.  While there are fewer infections, coordinating caregivers for vaccinations is a massive challenge.”

William has been a Home Care Supervisor for four years, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from University of Washington Bothel. This is the kind of meaningful work he’d hoped to be doing when he graduated.

 “I’m doing a lot of the decision-making in terms of how we respond to exposures,” William said. “And I‘m helping caregivers and clients get vaccinated. If it’s related to COVID, I’m on it!”

Plans are in the works to expand COVID protections even further. William said he’s working on getting training sessions in place for Aides in proper N95 mask use and other safety equipment.

A maze of PPE.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, but I wanted to get more experience,” William said. “Anything it takes to keep everyone safe. That’s what I’m interested in.”