FORT WAYNE, IND. – March 23, 2020 – Parkview Health is partnering with businesses and volunteers to protect its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though Parkview currently has an adequate supply of face masks, face shields and other PPE, innovative measures are being taken to ensure the international shortage doesn’t impact local patients or caregivers.
“Parkview Health currently has a sufficient supply of PPE, thanks in large part to our centralized supply chain system to monitor and distribute materials,” said Donna Van Vlerah, senior vice president, support division, Parkview Health. “As an innovative organization, we will continue to look ahead and implement proactive solutions to maintain adequate stock. While we have planned well to ensure our caregivers and patients are protected, PPE is a precious commodity around the world. We’re grateful to partner with local companies and volunteers to bolster our long-term supply.”
To create a stockpile of cloth masks, which can be used as back-up to the main supply, Parkview is partnering with Hospital Laundry Service (HLS). HLS, along with a pre-selected group of volunteers, will be sewing clinical masks from a specific type of medical-grade material.
The clinical-grade masks will include nose pieces, fabricated and donated by Rea Magnet Wire and Schlemmer Brothers Metal Fabrication, which will help better protect front-line caregivers. These masks will only be used as a back-up option should Parkview Health exhaust its supply of preferred PPE.
Additionally, community volunteers are invited to sew sheet masks, which could be used by patients, visitors or non-clinical co-workers. The basic style sheet mask can help contain the user’s germs and mitigate spread to others.
To ensure safety and quality, Parkview Health has assembled mask-making kits, which include fabric, instructions and materials to create 100 masks. Please note that the mask-making kits require volunteers to have basic sewing skills, your own sewing machine and thread.
Starting Wednesday, March 25, the mask-making kits can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3718 New Vision Drive, located on the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus.
Volunteers should turn on to New Vision Drive from Diebold Road. Signs will be posted to indicate where you can drive up to easily receive the kits without leaving your vehicle.
To manage the daily supply, mask-making kits are limited to one per person per day. At this time, the kits will be available for pick-up at the Fort Wayne location only. Kits will be available for pick-up at Parkview’s community hospital locations in the near future.
All completed masks can be returned to 3718 New Vision Drive or to your local Parkview community hospital. All masks will be laundered by HLS before they are distributed.
Masks made with other fabrics will also be accepted, but volunteers are encouraged to use the kits provided by Parkview Health to ensure safety and uniformity. Email Make-A-Mask@parkview.com with any questions on the mask-making kits.
Parkview Health has also been contacted by businesses offering to donate their supply of unused PPE, such as N-95 masks and gloves. These donations are appreciated, but must be dropped off at the Parkview Distribution Center, 1450 Production Road, Fort Wayne, to be vetted for safety before distribution.
“Parkview Health remains committed to protecting our patients, co-workers and community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Van Vlerah said. “We greatly appreciate the support and partnership of local businesses and volunteers to create alternative options, should they be needed. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to help.”