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Ballad Health welcomes donations of handmade masks for respiratory patients

STAFF • Mar 25, 2020 at 3:30 PM

JOHNSON CITY — The global demand for personal protective equipment in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created a severe shortage of PPE across the world, including at Ballad Health.

To help preserve its supplies, the health system is accepting donations of handmade face masks for patients who present to its hospitals and other facilities with respiratory concerns.

Because the masks are not medical grade, they will not be worn by team members as they provide care. Rather, they’ll serve as a vital barrier for patients who come in with respiratory ailments, and they’ll also help prevent patients from touching their faces.

Anyone in the community can make and donate masks, but they should meet several requirements:

— Constructed in a clean environment without smoke residue or pet hair

— Created from fabric that is clean and washed in hot water before being sewn

— Includes two 8-inch squares of woven cotton fabric and a mid-weight non-woven fusible interfacing fabric, as well as bindings, a metal wire for the nose structure and elastic ear loops

— Made from new, tightly-woven fabrics, such as quilting cotton, cotton and cotton-blend poplin

A sewing pattern and instructions are available at www.balladhealth.org/COVID19.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities have been asking how they can help,” said Lisa Smithgall, senior vice president and chief nursing executive for Ballad Health. “The most important thing they can do right now is stay home and remain committed to social distancing. But while they do that, they can also help protect our team members by making these masks.

“We’ve heard from multiple churches and local sewing groups about how they can create and donate these masks, and we’ve happily created a mechanism and system for them to do so.”

When completed, masks can be donated at the following Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care locations:

Abingdon, Virginia: 24530 Falcon Place Blvd., Suite 100; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Bristol, Tennessee: 2686 W. State St.; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Elizabethton, Tennessee: 14497 W. Elk Ave., Suite 11; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Greeneville, Tennessee: 1744 E. Andrew Johnson Highway; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Johnson City, Tennessee: 378 Marketplace Blvd., Suite 5; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Kingsport, Tennessee: 111 W. Stone Drive, Suite 110; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Kingsport, Tennessee: 4600 Fort Henry Drive; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Lebanon, Virginia: 344 Overlook Drive; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Marion, Virginia: 245 Medical Park Drive, Suite C; open Monday-Friday 4-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Norton, Virginia: 601 Commonwealth Drive; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pennington Gap, Virginia: 127 Healthcare Drive, Suite 3; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Piney Flats, Tennessee: 6419 Bristol Highway; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Rogersville, Tennessee: 405 Scenic Drive; open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Mask donations can also be mailed to Ballad Health’s auxiliary/volunteer services department at Professional Park #1, Suite 16; Johnson City, Tennessee, 37604. All donations should be sent in a clean plastic bag.

Anyone with questions about sewing or donating face masks should call (423) 431-2325 or email [email protected] Updated news and information about COVID-19 are available at www.balladhealth.org/COVID19.

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