March 26, 2020
St. Peter’s Health today announced a community project to help the local health system build its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for caregivers. With a nationwide shortage of some PPE items, including N95 masks, health care systems across the country are looking to community seamstresses to create supplies that can help protect caregivers on the front line who are caring for the community. The organization anticipates there will be additional opportunities to support caregivers and patients the coming days and weeks and encourages the community to stay up-to-date at sphealth.org and their Facebook page.
Home-made PPE mask, material donations
N95 masks are in short-supply, but according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shelly Harkins the organization has not reached a critical supply shortage, yet.
“The safety and health of our caregivers is our top priority. Right now, we have N95 masks for our caregivers, and we have already received an amazing amount of community support from contractors, local businesses and individuals.” Dr. Harkins is also hopeful that the organization will have other opportunities to procure and purchase the needed supplies, “There is also hopeful news that stockpile supplies will be distributed to hospitals and clinics and new supply chains will open up so we can purchase these absolutely critical items,” said Harkins.
St. Peter’s Health is providing an opportunity for community members to donate latex-free materials to make masks and has asked local seamstresses to lend their time and talents to create the masks that go over the N95 masks. The list of materials and instructions for design for those who have the skills to make the masks is available here. The cloth masks can help extend the amount of time that a caregiver can wear a single N95 mask while still being safe and protected.
St. Peter’s Health emphasizes that the masks need to be created using a specific, approved design.
“We are asking the community to follow specific guidelines because we want their time and contributions to be worthwhile and meaningful. We also have a rigorous quality assurance and cleaning process set up on the back-end,” said St. Peter’s Health Vice President of Operations Brian Lee.
There are many other ways that the community can support caregivers and other local organizations during this challenging time.
“We want the community to know that this isn’t the only way they can help. Everyone can help care for our community by staying home as much as possible and practicing social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Harkins.
Many other nonprofits and local organizations are also seeking donations and contributions. According to Lee, “we encourage community members to connect with other local nonprofits. Many other organizations are also in need of supplies and funding so they can continue to serve our friends, family and neighbors in need.”
Donation drop-off information
Community members can leave the donations at the organization’s drop-off site located behind the Medical Group building at 2550 Broadway St. (near the drive-up testing tents). The drop-off site is open daily from 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. until further notice. Community members who donate are encouraged to complete a donation form on the St. Peter’s Health website so they can be thanked for their generosity and contributions.