PHOENIX (March 25, 2020) – As clinical team members across Banner Health work diligently to conserve supplies amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, members of the Banner Innovation Group volunteer to transform sterilization cloth into masks.
The team jumped into action this week, with 48 Banner Health employees a day volunteering to cut, roll, fold and staple as many as 7,000 masks a day with two shifts covering about 12 hours. Volunteers use secure sterile wrap, which is a blue cloth usually use to wrap sterilized surgical equipment. The material is 99-percent microbial-resistant and is easily transformed into masks needed for general tasks around Banner hospitals where N95 masks are not required. The goal is to create a total of 50,000 masks.
The Banner-employed volunteers are following social distancing guidelines and regulations, including allowing no more than 10 people in a room at a time. Precautions and protocols also include regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, frequent hand hygiene with soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and touching materials as little as possible.
"First and foremost, we want to provide an energy boost for all of our team members across Banner Health," said Christy Anderson, executive director of Banner Innovation Group. "There's a feel-good message we hope this sends to our frontline health care workers. We want them to know we stand behind them and are proud of the work they're doing for Banner and the communities we serve. We hope they see we're all putting hands on deck to help them."
The collection of masks produced by fellow Banner Health team members will be distributed to facilities with the greatest need.
B-Roll: Banner Innovation Group makes masks for colleagues
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.bannerhealth.com.