March 27, 2020

Andover donates 4,000 face masks

Stock of N95 masks sent to Massachusetts hospitals and Andover first responders
by Nancy Hitchcock
Amy Patel, medical director, helped distribute much-needed N95 masks to local physicians.

As healthcare professionals face a shortage of personal protective gear in their battle against the coronavirus pandemic, Andover made a timely and potentially life-saving discovery.

Thanks to quick thinking by Amy Patel, medical director; Chris Joel, director of business services and risk management; and Heather Thomson, senior manager of operations and maintenance, a stock of N95 masks—in storage from previous pandemic planning—was distributed this week to area healthcare personnel.

“When we checked the supply, we saw that there were N95 masks, the ones in shortest supply currently for frontline healthcare workers and first responders,” says Patel. “I reached out to my network of Massachusetts physicians, and the need was huge. In an hour, there were 30 physicians requesting masks for their hospitals across Massachusetts.”

The physicians were grateful for Phillips Academy’s support of frontline healthcare team members.

Amy Patel Medical Director

The N95 respirators are key protective devices in the fight against coronavirus because they protect healthcare workers from inhaling harmful airborne particles by providing a close facial fit and efficient filtration.

Andover donated 3,000 N95 masks to Massachusetts hospitals and 1,000 to Andover first responders.

“The physicians were grateful for Phillips Academy’s support of frontline healthcare team members,” she says. “Each of them shared stories of incredible scarcity of supplies, especially N95 masks. I knew the need was large, but hearing stories from those working in our local emergency rooms, intensive care units, hospital floors (including COVID units), and COVID testing sites really brought a deeper understanding to this critical shortage.”

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