When Bendigo GP Dr Kirby White’s supply of disposable gowns ran out in the third week of the COVID-19 outbreak, she and colleague Dr Nicole Townsend decided to act. Together, they developed a gown that could be laundered and re-used, allowing them to keep seeing patients.
From their own need, Gowns for Doctors was born. To fund the initiative, Kirby raised more than $40,000 through a GoFundMe page, and by lobbying local, state and federal organisations and governments. She then engaged local volunteers and commercial textile companies – even her own wedding dress supplier – to make the gowns.
Kirby has now produced well over 5,200 gowns, supplying more than 750 regional Victorian GP clinics with these essential garments. She has also built up a stockpile of surplus gowns, which are ready to go out to other clinics when needed.
A dedicated and passionate GP, Kirby often checks up on patients late in the evening. She has gone above and beyond for her community and regional Victoria.