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Fishing for Masks: CRMC, Essentia make joint appeal for more face masks

Community support has been heartfelt, a sentiment echoed repeatedly as the two health care systems collaborate on this drive.

Brainerd Dispatch logo with news spelled out in block letters
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and Essentia Health announced a joint effort to increase their supply of homemade face masks.

And they need help.

Through the Fishing for Masks campaign, the health care facilities are seeking continued support from area communities. These homemade cloth masks help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect patients, staff and communities.

This virus is spread via droplet transmission, so it’s crucially important to cover as many mouths and noses as possible, the release stated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to wear face coverings in public settings, especially where social distancing might not be possible.

Step-by-step instructions for preferred mask designs can be found at EssentiaHealth.org/masks .


Masks as well as other items,can be dropped off at:

  • 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the donation bin outside the main entrance of Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, 320 E. Main St., Crosby. For an alternative time, contact Jennifer Podsiadly at 218-545-4455 or jennifer.podsiadly@cuyunamed.org .

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the emergency entrance of Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 523 N. Third St., Brainerd. Call 218-828-7550 upon arrival. Remain in the vehicle and staff will come out to accept the donation. For questions call Deb Anderson at 218-828-7610. An Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation corporate donor will donate $1 for every mask up to $5,000.

Community support has been heartfelt, a sentiment echoed repeatedly as the two health care systems collaborate on this drive, officials stated.
“CRMC is so grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity from our communities,” said Podsiadly, CRMC charitable fund coordinator, in a news release. “It is amazing to see how we have come together to support one another in these uncertain times. Our staff is working tirelessly to ensure that patients are safe and cared for while simultaneously anticipating and preparing for what’s next. Thank you for helping to protect area healthcare workers.”

“In the past month, I have talked with many people who are making masks. Everyone is overjoyed that their talent is being put to use during this time,” said Deb Anderson, Essentia Health volunteer services supervisor, in a news release. “They have otherwise felt helpless staying at home and not doing something. Knowing that they are helping to save lives in one way or another has given them purpose and joy that they are assisting health care. One person told me that sewing was a dying art, and was so excited to get out the sewing machine again and actually be of great help. It warms my heart to see so many people making masks and giving during this time. Thank you everyone.”

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