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Newman Regional Health Seeks Community Support with Mask Donations

Jessica Buchholz by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | March 23, 2020
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2020

Newman Regional Health Seeks Community Support with Mask Donations

(Emporia, KS) — Newman Regional Health is asking local community members for their help in donating sewn face masks to help curb the nationwide shortage faced by most all healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Interested individuals can help in one of two ways; sewing face masks for patients out of fabric, and sewing covers for N95 masks for healthcare workers.  There is an immediate need for both.  Newman Regional Health needs approximately 1,021 N95 covers per week.  Patient masks are required to be made of 100% cotton or 100% flannel.  Mask covers must be made of surgical drape, available for pick up at the location below.

Anyone who would like to help, or has questions about sewing the masks, is asked to contact Newman Regional Health’s Volunteer Coordinator, Deborah Storrer, at (620) 343-6800 x22525 or [email protected].  Requirements for the mask and a preferred pattern can be found online at www.newmanrh.org/facemasks.  A centralized location for pick up and donations has been made available by Emporia Main Street from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.  Community members are instructed to use the clear garage door on 8th avenue, next to the butterfly mural.  Please call (620) 340-6430 or email [email protected] prior to pick up or drop off to make arrangements.

Upon donation, the masks and mask covers will be run through the sterilizer before being passed out to patients and staff to ensure there is no infection risk from an item that is being made in a home as opposed to a regulated factory.  The face masks will be given to patients with symptoms of respiratory illness to help stop the spread of disease.  The covers are a helpful tool to allow healthcare workers to extend the life of their required N95 masks.  The N95 face mask is a mandated piece of personal protective equipment that is used to protect the wearer from airborne particles that could transmit illnesses and diseases from person to person.  As COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, these items are necessary for the hospital and other healthcare settings to keep everyone safe. 

Ester Knobloch, MLS (ASCP)CM, Infection Preventionist and Microbiology Supervisor at Newman Regional Health, says, “As hard as it is that we’re in this position, I’m excited to see how this community project goes.  I think it will be a positive way for community members to pass time and feel good about themselves while maintaining social distancing.  A two-fold way to stop COVID spread; mask for the patient and distancing for the person sewing!”

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About Newman Regional Health: Newman Regional Health is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital owned by the citizens of Lyon County, Kansas.  Recognized as a Level 4 Trauma Center, Newman Regional Health provides inpatient acute and medical rehabilitation services along with a full range of emergency and outpatient care to patients of all ages in Lyon County and surrounding areas in East Central Kansas.  Newman Regional Health offers 24/7 care with a newly renovated, state-of-the-art 19-bed emergency room and 10-bed Clinical Decision Unit.  With a mission to improve health in the community by providing high quality care and a vision to be a valued, trusted partner and regional provider of exemplary services, Newman Regional Health receives recognition as a top Critical Access Hospital each year. 

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.

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