SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees Chair Gail Miller has joined volunteers from around Utah to sew more than two million medical-grade masks as a part of ProjectProtect, a grassroots initiative to help ensure the safety of frontline caregivers.
Miller, who is also chairwoman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, has personally sewn 200 masks along with family members who have sewn another 1,800, said a news release from Intermountain Healthcare.
Miller is now encouraging others to volunteer to help ensure that frontline caregivers at Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have the necessary protection and safety when treating patients with the coronavirus.
“It’s such an enlightened project for me and I’m just really pleased to be a part of it,” said Miller. “It’s exciting to have a little hand in helping healthcare because I’m at that critical age where I don’t want to go outside, I want to be very careful. So, this gives me an opportunity to do service and feel useful.”
ProjectProtect is a partnership between Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to help sew five million medical-grade masks for frontline healthcare workers, the news release said.
The effort aims to ensure Utah medical workers continue to have the personal protective equipment they need.
“From an initial call, an important partnership was born,” said Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities and first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. “This team, from multiple organizations and a variety of professions, has moved mountains to make ProjectProtect possible. We’re so happy to be a part of this community effort!”
Details about what volunteers will be asked to do:
- They need the ability to follow detailed instructions and use a sewing machine.
- They need a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and pins. Material and instructions will be provided.
- Each volunteer will be asked to make 100 masks. Depending on the sewer’s level of experience, each mask will take five to 10 minutes to sew.
- Volunteers should expect to spend 10 to 15 hours sewing, plus they’ll need to pick up the materials and drop off the finished masks.
More than 20,000 people have already volunteered in finishing the first two million masks and organizers are hoping for another 30,000 volunteers to reach the goal of five million.
“We invite all who are able and willing to sew medical grade masks to join us as we work together to ensure that caregivers battling COVID-19 have the equipment they need to stay safe,” said Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Intermountain Healthcare.
“We’ve seen heart-wrenching stories of healthcare workers all over the world who are caring for COVID-19 patients without the protection they need and deserve,” added Tad Morley, vice president of outreach and network development at University of Utah Health. “We realized our regular supply chain couldn’t handle the demand and we didn’t want our frontline staff to face that same situation. So, we tapped into the resources that are based in the community to make sure they were protected.”
To volunteer for ProjectProtect and receive a kit with needed supplies click here.