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New Jersey Devils make a major donation to health system

Sabres captain Jack Eichel joins Jac Collinsworth to discuss the adjustment to staying at home, his family's situation and how he's staying in shape.

The owners of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL have made a six-figure donation to the state’s largest health care system for medical equipment for health care workers and first responders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Devils co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer and RWJBarnabas Health announced the donation Tuesday without saying the exact amount.

They described it as “significant and impactful.” They money was given to RWJBarnabas Health’s Emergency Response Fund to help combat the challenges faced by the medical community and its personnel.

RWJBarnabas Health has more than 35,000 system employees who treat thousands of patients daily in hospitals throughout the state.

The RWJBarnabas Health Foundation plans to acquire a variety of personal protective equipment, including N95 respirators and surgical masks, gloves, gowns, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, eye protection, and other necessary medical equipment, such as ventilators, which continue to be critically needed.

“Our team members are extremely dedicated and selfless,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive of RWJBarnabas Health. “It is our obligation to ensure the best protection as they perform their truly heroic work and this donation will help to provide them with the resources necessary to stay safe and care for our patients.”

With the NHL season suspended by the virus, the Devils on Monday packed their medical equipment in the Prudential Center and sent 7,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 hand sanitizers, and all their soaps, sprays and cleaning material to the health care network, a team spokesman said.

The donation came the same day that Harris and Blitzer made a six-figure donation to the city of Newark to support a program that provides gift cards for groceries to city families in need. A team spokesman said the hospital donation also was six figures.

The Devils have spoken to state authorities and offered to make the Prudential Center in Newark available should it be needed for use as a temporary hospital, the spokesman said.