Masks offered to independent physician practices and clinics in underserved communities
Philadelphia — Nov. 16, 2020 — Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is donating approximately 500,000 personal protection masks at no cost to physician practices and clinics in underserved and disadvantaged communities in the Philadelphia region. The donation is in response to the continued shortage of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since this pandemic began, Independence has worked to support our region’s health care providers in the fight against COVID-19. We are donating these masks to help protect the committed health care workers who are serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence Blue Cross president and CEO. “Because the pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color and those facing economic hardship, we decided to focus specifically on helping practices in minority communities.”
Independence reached out to nearly 3,000 provider offices in the region, beginning with those in medically underserved areas, to offer them the opportunity to request the masks. Provider groups within the Independence network having three or fewer providers are able to request a batch of 500 masks. Groups having more than three providers can request a batch of 1,000 masks. In addition, nonprofit clinics supported by the Independence Blue Cross Foundation have been contacted to receive masks. The batches are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the full supply has been distributed.
These masks may be used during the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.
Philadelphia-based mechanical service contractor Elliot-Lewis assisted with the logistics of obtaining the masks.
For more information about Independence’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ibx.com/covid19.
Note of thanks from Wallace and Nilan Physical Therapy
“It has been quite a difficult time for all of us and this gift will enable us to have one less thing to worry about. Your act of kindness is being shared at a couple of our sister clinics as well, including one that just ran out of our supply of the masks we had in reserve. Your masks are just another tool to enable our entire staff to continue to give above and beyond the normal expectations of an outpatient physical therapy environment. Thank you so much, as we really appreciate your gesture of good will!” – Jesse Breitbart, staff member at Wallace and Nilan Physical Therapy.