Acting logistics manager converts empty warehouse to provincial source of COVID-19 personal protective equipment

Eileen Katiuska Rivas de Caccavale, acting logistics manager

It started with an empty warehouse. 

In March, Eileen Katiuska Rivas de Caccavale was redeployed from her role as a clinical procurement consultant in Halifax to serve as acting logistics manager of a not-yet-created COVID-19 warehouse for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, N95 respirators, hospital gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer.

The warehouse is the central source of COVID-19 PPE for the entire province.

Her job was to lead the setup and operation of the COVID-19 PPE warehouse. 

This involved hiring a new team, coordinating incoming supplies from the federal government, donations and COVID-19 purchases. 

Time was of the essence.

Since March, the newly formed team of 12 has distributed millions of items of PPE across the province to hospitals, long-term care homes, daycares, police, dentists, schools, museums and libraries.

It’s been a daunting job. However, Rivas de Caccavale has experience meeting challenges. 

She and her husband along with their two children moved to Canada from Venezuela in 2012. When they arrived they spoke “zero English” and her youngest child was just seven months old. 

However, she says they “loved Halifax from day one” and after learning English at St. Mary’s University, they decided to stay in Canada and build a life in Nova Scotia. 

They’re now permanent residents awaiting the Canadian citizenship ceremony.

Rivas de Caccavale has been with Nova Scotia Health for two years.

While her recent redeployment has been challenging, it’s also been rewarding. 

"It's been a valuable opportunity being able to support the province through COVID-19. Teamwork, flexibility and adaptability to implement new processes are keys to our success."

Thanks to Eileen and the COVID-19 warehouse crew for helping to keep Nova Scotians safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic!