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War Memorial Hospital appeals for masks

Offers link on how to make them
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SAULT SAINTE MARIE, MICH. – War Memorial Hospital (WMH) has been and continues to work to ensure adequate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep employees and patients safe. However, the national shortage on PPE has made this challenging for healthcare facilities across the nation.

“We’ve had many caring community members reach out and generously offer to sew masks we can share with our healthcare workers,” explained Teresa Armstrong, WMH director of community relations.

There are two ways to help meet this need. Any businesses, such as contractors, dental practices, hair and beauty salons etc. are encouraged to donate masks they may have available. The second way is to make masks. Masks may be sewn and donated to the hospital. A physician approved pattern is available here. WMH recommends the version with the pocket to add extra filter layers. Examples of filter layers are paper towels or napkins. An additional helpful tip is to roll the floral wire out with needle-nose pliers, so it doesn’t poke the wearer.

Community members are encouraged to drop off masks at the main (south) entrance of WMH. A mask collection box will be located at WMH inside the main entrance beginning Monday, March 23. The masks will be sanitized prior to distribution. This entrance is open from 4:45 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekends.

“Thank you to the wonderful people who have already stepped forward to help make these masks. It will help us do our part to prevent the spread of this virus in our community. Masks are no substitute for social distancing. Please continue safe practices and good hand hygiene,” said WMH Chief Medical Officer, Paula Rechner, MD.

“I encourage everyone to take a walk outside each day. There is no need for a mask outdoors if you are 6 feet from other people. Open your windows and let fresh air circulate through your home,” Dr. Rechner added.

Handmade masks can be utilized in homes as well to help protect people and their families. Per WMH and CDC recommendations, if an individual is suspected of having the virus and are quarantined at home, these masks are helpful to stop the spread of droplets from the sick person throughout the home. Individuals utilizing handmade masks should consider having three on hand - one to wear, one to wash and one to share. If you are able to make or obtain enough for your whole family, that can be helpful as well.

If you are interested in donating masks for WMH caregivers, please call 906-635-4351 or email 

“We thank everyone who has offered to help. It goes to show what a generous and giving community we live in,” said Marla Bunker, WMH vice president of nursing/operations.

To stay up to date on the latest news and information from WMH on COVID-19, please visit here.