Making Protective Gear from Snorkel Masks Making Protective Gear from Snorkel Masks

April 21, 2020
Physicians unite to produce 70,000 masks., a physician-led non-profit organization founded to design, manufacture and donate high-quality emergency PPE for healthcare workers,  launched a funding drive on April 21 to raise an additional $3 million over the next two weeks.

The group’s Reusable Mask Kit is a durable and sanitizable emergency PPE made by adapting full-face recreational snorkel masks to connect to bacterial/viral filters already used in hospitals.

The organization purchases the snorkel masks manufactures filter adaptors and donate the assembled Reusable Mask Kits to clinicians and healthcare facilities that lack FDA-cleared PPE.

“Frontline medical professionals caring for COVID-19 patients are at extremely high-risk of exposure,” said Dr. Alexander Stone, Resident, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Intubation, extubation and other aerosolizing procedures put healthcare professionals directly in harm’s way. We need to do everything we can to keep them safe, so they can continue providing the care that so many need. “We started as a way to quickly and safely create and donate emergency PPE to those in the greatest need during this crisis.”

Having rapidly designed, tested and refined the masks at several hospitals across Boston and New York, has recently begun the scalable manufacturing and donation of 20,000 Reusable Mask Kits to clinicians in need. Mask kits are already in emergency clinical use at several major hospitals across the country.

The organization was founded when two anesthesiology residents, Dr. Jackie Boehme and Dr. Alexander Stone, teamed up with a diverse group of volunteer engineers and technologists who work at:

  • Leading healthcare organizations such as Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Lahey Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
  • Top academic institutions including Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Rice University, Tufts University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-San Francisco, University of Texas-Dallas and Yale University.
  • Innovative companies such as Alphabet, Dragon Innovation, E14 Fund, Fab Foundation, Fortify, Fikst, Formlabs, Google, Head, Ocean Reef Group, Husky Moving, Kyruus, Markforged, Onshape,, Ox, Prodct, Protolabs, PTC, Scenic Advisement, Tulip, Verily, Vuforia, Voodo and Wild Horn Outfitters.

The group points out that’s PPE is a short-term, emergency solution that has undergone rigorous quality control tests to ensure seal, breathability, fogging and ability to communicate with other physicians while wearing it.  However, these should not be used if FDA-approved PPE is available.

There are two ways to help support’s mission and donate emergency PPE to those in critical need:

  • For large donors, can accept tax-exempt gifts through its fiscal sponsor, The Fab Foundation. To make a large donation, please follow this link. 
  • is also happy to accept individual donations. Each $50 donation gets one mask kit directly to a clinician in need. Please visit the organization’s GoFundMe page here. 

If you are or know a clinician or healthcare professional who is concerned they may run out of FDA-approved PPE, you can request a mask kit through the following link.

All funds raised will go directly to producing and donating an additional 70,000+ mask kits to frontline healthcare professionals in intensive care units and emergency rooms across the nation where they are needed most.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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