I want to help … what can I do?
During this time of crisis, we are truly seeing the strength and spirit of our communities. The response from individuals across the country has been overwhelming. We are grateful to the many individuals who have offered their time, energy and resources to support hospitals, health systems and our health care work force.
We appreciate all of your efforts and encourage you to visit the websites and social media accounts of your local hospitals and health systems to determine what needs exist and how you can best support them. At this time, hospitals and health systems have a variety of needs:
- Donations of PPE
- Donations of Supplies (disinfectants, wipes, etc.)
- Monetary Donations
Protect the Heroes
The AHA has partnered with The Creative Coalition and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy to launch the “Protect the Heroes” campaign, which allows the general public to make direct monetary donations to America’s hospitals and health systems. Every dollar raised from Protect the Heroes goes directly to the donor’s choice of local hospital or health system to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and other support for their local organizations to fight COVID-19.
Individuals can visit www.ProtectTheHeroes.org and, with a single click, be connected to the website of a local hospital of their choosing and contribute to hospital emergency relief funds. Each hospital will determine where funds should be applied to make an important difference during this unprecedented time.
Calling Any Volunteer Engineers or Innovators
The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has created a severe shortage of PPE across the world. The supply simply cannot keep up with the demand. To respond to that need, the American Hospital Association is launching a call to action to increase production and distribution of PPE to health care workers across the country.
Together with Point A, we are calling for anyone who has technical or manufacturing experience and who is looking to help during this time of crisis.
Many manufacturers are closing their facilities or exploring how to reconfigure their facilities to produce PPE . . . and your engineering and innovation experience would be valuable. Consulting with manufacturers that need your help and your expertise will allow these manufacturers to start to produce much needed PPE and keep many employed.
Learn more about volunteering and please fill out this form if you are willing to help:
Give a Mask
Give a Mask offers an opportunity for individuals and businesses to make financial contributions that translate directly into the donation of high-quality, non-medical grade, masks for hospitals, providers and community-based organizations. All financial donations correspond directly to the production and donation of masks. If you are an organization that would like to receive masks, please contact email@example.com with your organization’s contact and shipping information and the number of masks requested. Please note that you were referred by the 100 Million Masks Challenge. A minimum of 200 masks per order and masks will be shipped on a first come, first served basis. There are no associated shipping costs and Give a Mask will be shipping weekly.
For additional information about Give a Mask or to make a donation please visit www.giveamask.co.
Other ways to help …
Our nation has come together with a desire to respond and meet the needs of our friends, families and communities. We invite you to support the many COVID-19 response efforts underway including:
- Monitor the needs of your own hospital and health system
- Review the guidance and outreach of local and state health departments
- Support the efforts of social services organizations like the American Red Cross, United Way, local food banks and variety of other service clubs in your community
Many other community organizations are providing COVOID-19 related resources and services.
CDC Guidance: Continue Taking Precautions to Protect Yourself
Given increasing evidence that infected individuals without symptoms can spread COVID-19, the CDC has put out important guidance to the public in the battle to reduce the spread of the disease.
In all cases where these masks are used, individuals should continue to protect themselves appropriately from the virus, which includes social distancing, limiting time with others, avoiding touching your face and handwashing, recommended by the CDC.
As organizations representing health care professionals and caregivers, we call on the public to be mindful of the need to ensure N95 respirators and medical grade face masks remain prioritized for—doctors, nurses and other front line caregivers and workers—and individual community members should use non-medical reusable masks, instead, as the CDC suggests.
Sewing Surgical Masks
Some hospitals and health systems are asking the community to sew masks. Those that are accepting these masks have posted specific instructions on their websites, including design specifications, materials to be used, how to sanitize the masks and where to drop them off at the hospital or health system. We encourage you to visit the websites and social media accounts of your local hospitals and health systems to get these specifications.
If you would like to make a mask, below are some resources that you may find useful.
- As CDC guidance on cloth face masks has evolved they have made the following patterns and instructions available.
Deaconess Health System Pattern & Video Tutorial
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin
Hingham Mask Pattern & Video Tutorial
Lehigh Valley Health Network
North Memorial Health
Operation We Can Sew
For community mask makers interested in connecting with local hospitals and health systems consider these steps.
In the event that they are not needed, these masks can be used by you, your family and friends in your community. They can also be distributed to other facilities, such as homeless shelters or to support essential workers at grocery stores or food delivery services.
Support and Coordination for Workforce Shortages
Ensuring the safety and well-being of our health care workforce is a key priority for our nation’s hospitals and health systems. In addition to a national shortage of protective equipment (PPE) there are also workforce shortage issues related to COVID-19. AHA is expanding our 100 Million Mask Challenge to support the state, regional and metro hospital associations as they assist hospitals both locally and across their states address growing workforce shortages.
This platform and effort is not intended to replace any state or local efforts but to complement and augment existing efforts to identify health care workers and volunteers who may be interested in returning to or joining the workforce to help with the COVID-19 crisis.
Nationwide our members and the hospital associations are facing an emergent issue of workforce supply in “hot spots.” Certain regions are in urgent need of additional providers today, while other areas are preparing for the surge over the next weeks. Some localities have begun a process to call up volunteers and have successfully worked with their state government to match volunteers to hospitals.
This effort will evolve, and as such the website will be updated to provide the latest information we have. We encourage you to provide feedback, share resources and identify strategies to address the workforce needs to combat the pandemic.
Call for Volunteers
We are aware of the following efforts seeking volunteers to help. If you are interested in helping or learning more please visit the following sites for more information. If you are a state or locality looking to add your information to this list please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aya Healthcare, in partnership with FHA's endorsed staffing company Qualivis, has enacted an emergency preparedness and rapid response staffing unit to assist facilities in planning and caring for increased patient census and/or low core staff availability due to COVID-19. Contact email@example.com for additional information.
Don’t see your state’s volunteer efforts listed above? Please share information and resources for us to add by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Workforce Efforts
Missouri Hospital Association
Ohio Department of Health
Center for Health Workforce Studies
New Jersey Hospital Association
New Mexico Department of Health
The COVID Staffing Project unites collaborators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Michigan Medicine’s Center for Surgical Training and Research (C-STAR) and Department of Learning Health Sciences, and the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative (PLSC). They share a common goal of creating a toolkit that supports hospitals of all sizes in projecting their frontline workforce needs as patient demand and staff availability evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Organization of Nurse Leaders
Hear from nurse leaders from across the state of New York who are in various stages of planning and implementing surge staffing.
Learn from two California nurse executives about how they are leading their organizations' COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts.
Even in normal circumstances, working in health care delivery is hard, stressful and tiring work; COVID-19 makes it especially exhausting physically and mentally. Here are some ways we can help care for and support our health care heroes.
Please read and review the information provided on this website before reaching out due to the large volume of inquiries. If you still have questions please call 800-424-4301 or click on the link below to fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.Thank you!
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of the specifications and guidance provided above (the Information). The Information was obtained from hospitals, health systems and other third parties, and was not developed by the AHA. The AHA is providing the Information for informational purposes and has not independently, tested, confirmed or verified the Information. Any use of the Information is at the user’s own risk. The AHA is not a health care provider, and it does not actively monitor or approve any Information on this site and are not responsible or liable for verifying the accuracy of the Information. The AHA provides this Information and these materials on an “as is” basis, with no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, including with respect to accuracy, completeness, quality, non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. AHA and its affiliates, will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of, or reliance on, any Information made available to you by AHA.