The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

At a virtual news conference in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 17, 2020, two Utah health entities, University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare, announced a partnership with Latter-day Saint Charities to provide 5 million clinical face masks and other types of personal protective equipment (or PPE) to the state’s front-line health care professionals treating COVID-19 patients.

“We wanted to look at all possible alternatives in order to keep our health care workers engaged in the fight and healthy and protected,” said Dr. Andy Phillips, who specializes in occupational medicine at University of Utah Health.

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Phillips explained that, as is the case in many other states within the U.S., in Utah, medical professionals are at risk from having no personal protective equipment or are already running low on personal protective equipment that will help them continue to work around the clock to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Once the Utah-based health care partners identified the need to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 cases and a decrease in this type of medical gear, they contacted the Church and joined forces to organize Project Protect, the official name of the charitable initiative.

“We got together as a senior leadership team and said, ‘What can we do locally … to produce personal protective equipment to make sure our caregivers were safe?’” said Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Intermountain Healthcare.

“The global needs change as the pandemic progresses,” said Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities. Sister Eubank also participated in the virtual news conference. “It just depends on where we are in the situation around the world, but we’re to work with governments [and] community leaders and find out what they need,” she added.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.