AHA launches “100 Million Mask Challenge” to aid front line health professionals

aha and prov

Nationwide Effort Brings Scale to Providence Initiative

WASHINGTON (March 27, 2020) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced a national initiative to secure millions of masks for the physicians, nurses and caregivers who are treating coronavirus patients and at greater risk due to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment. The effort will facilitate private sector partnerships to address these shortages in the fight against COVID-19.  

Providence, a health system with 51 hospitals in seven Western states, launched the inaugural initiative in Washington State earlier this month and secured significant support from individuals, community organizations and local manufacturers. Providence will continue its local effort while the AHA brings the initiative to scale and facilitates new relationships between providers in need of masks and manufacturers with the capacity to produce them.

“Our health care heroes on the front lines have an immediate need for personal protective equipment and we have to push on all cylinders to get these items produced and into the field,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA. “This challenge builds on the incredible efforts of Providence to bring this call to action to the entire nation.”

During the first phase of the challenge, Providence collaborated with Kaas Tailored, a Washington State furniture manufacturer that has stepped in to produce much-needed personal protective equipment, as well as developing and sharing design specs that aide other manufacturers. Providence will maintain focus on Washington State while the national initiative will expand to cover other areas experiencing an influx of coronavirus patients. In recognition that shortages are much greater nationwide, the AHA-led initiative will, over time, expand its scope to meet the growing and ongoing challenges.

“The outpouring of support from across the country has reaffirmed our faith in the helpful, hopeful, can-do nature of Americans,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer of Providence. “We’ll continue to be part of the solution to the challenges COVID-19 is creating for our hospitals and the people we serve while the AHA takes over as the leader of this movement.”

More information on how to support the :100 Million Mask Challenge" is available at aha.org/100millionmasks.


Contact:        Sean Barry, AHA,  sbarry@aha.org 
                     Mark Gross, Providence, mark.gross@providence.org
About the American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

About Providence
Providence is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 51 hospitals, 1,085 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 119,000 caregivers serving communities across Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif. Learn about our vision of health for a better world at Providence.org.