(BIVN) – Multiple communities and organizations are promoting efforts to increase the number medical masks and personal protective equipment, or PPE, for Hawaiʻi.
We previously reported on the efforts by the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, working to gather donations of medical grade masks to protect healthcare workers and patients as the COVID-19 crisis escalates. N-95 and surgical masks in original, unopened packaging are being accepted at hilo Medical Center’s Human Resources Office at the corner of Rainbow Drive and Waianuenue Avenue below the hospital, from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other hospitals on the Big Island have made similar appeals.
Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center, Kona Community Hospital Partner To Accept Masks
Beginning Friday, March 27, 2020, the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center (KASC) and Kona Community Hospital (KCH) will be partnering to collect donated surgical masks and N-95 masks.
The two healthcare organizations are seeking surgical masks and N-95 respirators in original, unopened packaging to augment supplies at KCH should additional supplies be needed.
Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center has been designated as the drop off site for donated items. Donations will be accepted Monday – Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm. The surgery center address is 75-5905 Walua Road, Suite 4 in Kailua-Kona. Donation receipts will be provided.
Please contact KASC clinical manager, Nadine Calloway Reese at (808) 331-7960 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The community has expressed so much interest in helping during this unprecedented time,” said Katherine Cholet, KASC Administrator. “We’re humbled by that, and also happy to help Kona Community Hospital in their preparations for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients.”
North Hawaii Community Hospital Mask Donations
Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital (QNHCH) is participating in a statewide drive to collect personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.
QNHCH is asking the community for PPE donations to help supplement the hospital’s supply should needs increase. Items requested include medical-grade goggles, face shields, surgical/N95 masks, and gowns / disposable protective suits. All items must be new and in original packaging.
In addition, interested community members with sewing skills are asked to sew face masks. Supplies of facemasks at the hospital are adequate; these hand sewn masks would only be used if supplies became completely depleted and this is not anticipated. Two types of hand sewn masks are requested with video links for size/style/pattern specifications and instructions:
If sewing masks, two different fabrics are requested so staff can quickly tell the outside from the inside of the mask.
People can drop off items at the hospital’s front entrance Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm. Donation receipts are available.
UH Researcher, Dept. of Theatre & Dance Working To Sew Masks For Health Care Workers
From the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine:
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) Assistant Research Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and the Pacific Biosciences Research Center Angel Yanagihara, along with faculty, students and staff of the UHM Department of Theatre and Dance (T&D), are sewing homemade fabric masks to help with Hawaiʻi’s increasing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. On the T&D side, the effort is spearheaded by the head of the Costume Shop, Assistant Professor Maile Speetjens, and the Production Manager, Rick Greaver, with the support of the Chair Markus Wessendorf.
This effort is in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. The masks will be pleated for better fit and made of 100 percent densely woven “breathable” cotton with pockets that can be inserted with a disposable near N95 non-woven filter material, Professor Yanagihara said. After use, the cloth masks may be treated with regular laundry soap then laundered and reused.
The first batch of cloth masks will be distributed through the University Health Partners of Hawaiʻi, the faculty practice plan of the UH medical school, with priority given to providers and staff in primary care and emergency care specialties, who provide first contact care for the majority of patients. In addition, JABSOM medical students are assembling plastic face shields that are needed by frontline health care workers.
With public contributions for materials, it is hoped that these masks and shields can be extended for the support of other primary care providers (including those assessing nursing home patients) across the state of Hawaiʻi.
Contributions to these efforts may be made here.
Richard Ha of and the Sustainable Energy Hawaiʻi group is also promoting the idea of making your own masks. “The objective is to provide a safe zone for the rubbah slippah folks when they go shopping,” said Ha. “It is not likely that the government will be able to get some in time for the rubbah slippah folks. They have to make the masks themselves. It can be done and very quickly too.”
Ha shared this link for Project Mask Up Hawaiʻi.