Health First Medical Group Patient Care Specialist’s Mother Makes, Donates Face Masks
By Space Coast Daily // May 1, 2020
COVID-19 Crisis Inspires Woman to Help Protect Daughter, Co-workers and Their Patients
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – LeAnn Young’s mom, Sheree, has always been a “jack of all trades” – with a big heart to boot. As the COVID-19 public health crisis advanced, Sheree heard about hospitals and medical facilities nationwide struggling with potential shortages of protective face masks.
She immediately reached out to her daughter, a Health First Medical Group patient care specialist in Cocoa Beach, who went to her supervisor.
“LeAnn came to me to ask if her mother could make homemade masks for our associates and providers in the office,” said Stacy Kessel, Practice Manager, Health First Medical Group, Orthopedic Spine & Interventional Pain Management. “I told her that would be wonderful.”
While many patients are able to utilize Health First’s Virtual Visits, those with urgent and necessary orthopedic needs – such as fracture care – must be seen in person. To ensure the safety of patients, visitors, associates and providers alike, Health First has enacted a universal masking policy for all who enter its facilities.
Sheree immediately went to work, producing about 50 homemade masks for associates, providers and whomever else wanted one. She dipped into her own funds to purchase materials and also made sure she had the correct dimensions for a proper fit.
“My mom gave us all kinds of patterns to choose from,” said LeAnn, who added the various fashions were a hit. “She also made the mask with an open insert on the inside so you can slip a medical-grade filter in the mask and also take it out to machine wash the mask.”
LeAnn made sure to share photos of the masks in use with her mom – including a picture of Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Richard Pfeiffer donning one.
“She was tickled,” LeAnn said.
Kessel said she’s beyond grateful to LeAnn and Sheree for their generous hearts.
“LeAnn’s mom is our designated practice angel for being so giving and thoughtful to us all, and she is currently making her next shipment of masks for us,” Kessel said.
“LeAnn could have kept all these masks for herself, or even sold them, but she never once thought to do that. She only wanted to protect her co-workers and providers from this terrible virus.”
LeAnn said her mom was very inspired and continue to be, making masks for other hospitals around the Gainesville area, where she lives.
“This is a time for everyone to come together,” LeAnn said. “My family and I believe in good deeds and always helping in some way or another.”
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