School of Medicine comes together to make homemade masks for those on front lines of COVID-19

Hansen uses her sewing machine.

Making a difference

Jennifer Hansen, MD '22, sews a homemade mask as part of our Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine's initiative to craft masks for clinicians and staff on the front lines across Connecticut.

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tudents, faculty and staff from throughout our Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine have been actively involved in making homemade masks for clinicians and staff on the front lines across Connecticut.

"I am astounded by the sheer number of people reaching out to help and it is truly a testament of compassion to our community,” said Luke Jenusaitis, MD ’21, one of the organizers of the initiative. Although there is no estimate of how many masks may be produced, Jenusaitis said he wouldn’t be surprised if they end up sending thousands.

The Extra Masks by Netter Program have adopted Rosie the Riveter and Uncle Sam as their project symbols, often posing with their likenesses.

“The inspiration came from when Americans of all backgrounds banded together to do their part to help during the turbulent times of WWI and WWII,” explained Jenusaitis. "While we are not engaged in militant combat, our health care men and women are out on the frontlines and combating this virus every day. They are putting their lives at risk for our safety. For those of us who are sidelined in this fight for now, we need to do our part and band together, not only for the sake of the nation, but for the world at large.”

More than 60 medicine students are now involved with the initiative.

“To see our students jump in with two feet to do whatever that they can, without any hesitation, has filled my heart with such immense pride — as an educator and as a physician,” said Dr. Traci Marquis-Eydman, faculty director of the Netter Student Volunteer Corps. "They went into medicine to heal and to make a difference, and they are fulfilling that mission in the ways that they can at this moment.”

If you are interested in joining the effort of making homemade masks, please email luke.jenusaitis@qu.edu for information.