Published on April 02, 2020

ProHealth Care welcomes donations of handsewn face masks

ProHealth Care is welcoming donations of handsewn masks from the community as part of its efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

ProHealth’s supplies of medical masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are meeting current needs to protect patients and caregivers, but supplies continue to be thin throughout the United States.

As ProHealth Care’s professionals prepare for a surge of coronavirus COVID-19 patients, many individuals, church groups, businesses and other organizations have generously offered to help by sewing cloth masks.

"We are deeply grateful to all those who have reached out to us, and we will gladly accept handsewn masks," said Mary Baker, RN, MSN, ProHealth’s chief clinical operations officer.

The masks will not replace protective equipment worn by front-line caregivers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not suggest cloth material as a first line of defense against the coronavirus. Instead, ProHealth will use handsewn masks to offer protection to employees in supportive roles and to patients. This will help conserve supplies of medical-grade masks.

If you would like to make cloth masks for ProHealth Care, please follow the pattern found at ProHealthCare.org/MaskPattern. The pattern is for a large mask. A small mask can be made by trimming the pattern before sewing.

Please use a prewashed cotton fabric with a high thread count. A pipe cleaner, thin-gauge wire or long twist tie needs to be inserted into the small open hem of the sewn piece at the top of the mask (see pattern) to allow for the mask to be tightened around the nose.

If elastic is not available for the ties, use four flat, clean shoelaces or sew ties. To sew ties, cut four thin pieces of material, about 18 inches long and ¾-inch wide. Fold each piece of fabric twice lengthwise, then once more to tuck the rough edges inside. Iron. Sew a straight line along the middle.

ProHealth asks that handsewn masks be placed in bundles of up to 15 masks in one clear plastic bag, with the number of masks printed in marker on the bag.

Donated masks will be inspected, laundered and sanitized before use. ProHealth will be able to launder and reuse the masks.

Donations may be dropped off at ProHealth Care’s administrative building at N17W24100 Riverwood Drive in Pewaukee, off Pewaukee Road just north of I-94. Donations can be left between the entrance and lobby doors between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Handsewn masks also can dropped in a designated collection bin on Dopp Street near the loading dock behind ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please do not linger near the hospital, as emergency vehicles need to be able to use all roadways in and around the hospital. Please exit and return later if an emergency, police or supply vehicle is entering the area.

ProHealth also continues to accept donations of N95 respirator face masks, surgical masks with ear loops and hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or more). Items should be new and in unopened containers. These items also can be dropped off at the ProHealth administration building on Riverwood Drive or at Waukesha Memorial.

If you would like to make a large donation of these products, please call 262-696-0464, or send an email to Leslie Kleba, director of purchasing, at leslie.kleba@phci.org.

Many people in the community have asked about making monetary gifts. The ProHealth Care Foundation is gratefully accepting donations. Kindly visit ProHealthCare.org/Donate. Please do not bring monetary gifts to product donation sites.

Visit ProHealthCare.org/COVID-19 for information about the ProHealth coronavirus hotline, virtual urgent care visits, hospital visitation policies and other information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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