Once the threat of COVID-19 reached the United States, a nationwide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage begin. In an effort to ensure that providers at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center were able to safely treat patients, TCC began producing PPE – particularly face masks – in house.
The effort was mainly comprised of TCC employees whose regular work had been put on hold due to the pandemic. Employees were trained on how to properly create the masks and could volunteer by tracing and cutting out designs, cutting elastic and wires, or sewing the masks together.
“We’ve had 19 TCC employees working on this project, some only a few hours, and others who have helped us from the start,” explained Jennifer Probert, TCC Fitness Center Attendant and Outreach Coordinator, “We have also had three community volunteers helping us.”
Volunteers came from a wide array of TCC programs including; Dental, Diabetes, Patient Experience, Health, Cafe staff, Environmental Health and Cultural programs.
Once created, the masks are thoroughly inspected by Dr.Max Jensen with Dental for quality insurance before being distributed. Mask design and task force communication for the project was led by Dr. Michael Costa with Dental.
To date, the group has produced upwards of 600 masks. While the team began producing masks for providers, they are also creating masks for employees and ones for patients as well.