JACKSON, Wyo. — St. Johns emergency department nurse Keegan Pfiel is leading an effort to recruit community members to sew 1,000 masks for healthcare workers.

The project comes after a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and patients. Community members are asked to help by creating or donating personal protective equipment, like masks, so hospital workers can keep fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“St. John’s Health has been very proactive in providing and obtaining the appropriate PPE, including masks.” Pfiel said. “However, with the current uncertainties of this pandemic and no guarantee of further PPE shipments, I wanted to help start this initiative to ensure those on the front lines have the resources they need to protect themselves and therefore the entire community.”

There are three ways you can help supply personal protective equipment to St. Johns:

1. Sewing standard masks
2. Donating unused medical PPE like masks, gloves, face shields
3. Donating materials like cotton fabric and sewing supplies

St. John’s Health is asking for two styles of homemade fabric masks from our community as they continue to prepare COVID-19.

A standard mask is a mask that any community member can create. Keegan’s JH Community Mask Project hopes to create more than 1,000 standard masks for donation to St. John’s Health. Surplus masks will go to other health providers in the community and region. Click here to download the PDF pattern directions and click here to watch an instructional video.

Masks are running short throughout the nation and the JH Community Mask project is making sure that St. John’s has ample supplies. Photo: Macau Photo Agency

Pfiel added that any kind of help is appreciated.

“Dig into your garage and dust off your sewing machines. It doesn’t matter if you make one mask or thousands, anything will help.”

The project also has a goal to create 100 surgical masks. Skilled members of the local Quilters Guild and other professional seamstresses have been recruited to create a more detailed and technical surgical mask.

There may be other sources where masks aren’t being used as much which can come in handy for overwhelmed healthcare workers. Pfiel explained, “We are also calling on veterinarians, construction workers, dentists, other health care providers and anyone else in the community that might have PPE (masks, gowns, face shields, gloves) to please donate them to St. John’s Health.”

Please drop masks at the main hospital at the temp monitoring station. The table is at the front entrance of the hospital, by Choices Café. The station is open daily from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. There will be a bag at that desk and donors can deposit into the bag. All masks will be laundered at St. John’s Health before use or distribution.

For more information on the JH Community Mask Project visit their Facebook page or St. John’s website. You can also email jhcommunitymaskproject@gmail.com.

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Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.