First, a housekeeping note: Medical use of our products are currently covered under the April 13, 2020 FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for “Face Shields” because, while our device is capable of being attached to FDA approved filters, it is not itself a filtering mask. MasksOn.org makes no filtration claims. Additionally, we are now working towards MasksOn.org specific EUA’s which would place us on FDA published lists as a respirator device and further facilitate adoption. Until we receive our EUA, we are referring to our product “Reusable Face Shields.”
Seven short weeks ago, Dr. Jackie Boehme and Dr. Alex Stone reached out to Eugene Mann at Google to see if there might be an engineer or two who could help them convert recreational snorkel masks into PPE to address the looming shortage, and our team of well over a hundred volunteers came together to create MasksOn.org. From the very beginning we were racing against the virus in order to protect our frontline health workers who were, and are, literally risking their lives every day for each and every one of us.
We knew from the beginning that MasksOn.org was a stopgap measure – a finger in the dike to get through the peak of the PPE shortage crisis until the supply chain caught up, and we could all go back to our day jobs. Seven weeks ago, we expected that time might be around now, or in the worst case, towards the end of May. Unfortunately, from what we are seeing and hearing from the thousands of clinicians who have requested and received our Reusable Face Shields from virtually every state in the nation, there is no clear end to the crisis in sight.
Instead, in a recurring COVID-19 theme being played out across so many social and economic arenas, we are seeing a story of haves and have-nots. The supply of PPE is being arbitrated through an open, worldwide marketplace, and every individual care system, whether a hospital network, nursing home, or small dentistry practice, is not only bidding against each other, but also against profiteers, state governments, and numerous federal agencies. Not surprisingly, wealthy buyers are securing the lion’s share of supplies, whereas poorer groups find themselves shut out.
Considering the challenges the US has faced in making widespread testing available, we believe that extreme PPE shortages will persist for many weeks to come, and that even as the total quantity of produced and imported PPE rises, much of that equipment may end up stockpiled in places far from the newest outbreaks. And, this situation may be further exacerbated as hospitals return to performing the countless surgeries and procedures that were postponed over the past several weeks.
While there is little we can do to contribute to a more rational nationwide PPE distribution policy, we know that our mission is far from complete based on the continuing and often heartbreaking requests we are receiving every day. We have established a goal of donating 100,000 Reusable Face Shields which will require significantly expanding our total funding goal by an additional $3 million.
I can’t thank you enough for the service and generosity of MasksOn.org. I am a dentist and I have a team of six chair-side providers. As you know, dentistry is a highly aerosolized industry. My team has been so nervous to restart our clinic during the uncertain times of COVID-19. I received masks from MasksOn, which is a philanthropic organization providing quality PPE. I subsequently purchased some filters from @Total Respiratory in Omaha, and then more via a recommendation from @Allison Summers. These masks are so comfortable and breathing is far easier than with N95 masks. As a team, we’re having difficulty with the discomfort of the [N95] masks, the fogging of our [previous] shields, and the remaining feeling of vulnerability. The availability and cost of PPE coupled with the guilt of PPE landfill pollution are added concerns. Needless to say these masks have minimized those issues. Check out MasksOn.org.
– Robin Khan DDS, Omaha, posted on Facebook
Highlights for the Week Include:
- Initiation of FDA Emergency Use Authorization process led by specialists Devon Campell and Ken Block
- MasksOn.org featured on Fox News 25 and Greenlight Guru Global Medical Device Podcast
- 2,794 additional Reusable Face Shields delivered last week
- Arrival of 5,000 Wildhorn Outfitter snorkel masks from China
- Arrival of 3,000 HEAD masks a NY distributor
Key Performance Indicators
- Total Mask Kits Delivered; 6,951 to more than 700 institutions in 47 states
- Current Unfulfilled Orders: 2,124 to 555 institutions
- Production rate: ~1000 kits / day
- Funds Raised: $2m ($180,186 from our GoFundMe campaign)
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD AND HELP US RAISE FUNDS!
We are deeply grateful for your continued support. Continuing in our weekly theme of focusing on outreach within a particular network of clinicians and frontline healthcare workers, this week we ask for you to help us raise awareness about MasksOn.org at rural hospitals, clinics, EMT’s, and paramedics. Please share our information with them, and encourage them to visit our site and place orders as needed.
We are also escalating our fundraising outreach to regional foundations that are helping to alleviate local shortages of PPE, particularly in underserved areas.