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Health Center reaps what Brickyard sews

By Thor Jourgensen | March 21, 2020

LYNN — Community organizations Brickyard Collaborative and the Lynn Community Health Center are joining forces to ensure the Center has Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -approved protective masks while its workers fight coronavirus. 

The Collaborative — a local alliance of entrepreneurs and creative people —  urges anyone who wants to help out to respond to for more information. 

Collaborative Director Ted Dillard said fellow members reached out to the Center asking for ways to help center workers on the front line of the coronavirus fight. Center representatives said they need protective masks, and Dillard said Friday collaborative members found a website page for Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind., — — with detailed instructions on how to make what they are claiming is a CDC-approved mask.

“We’re a bunch of people who like to make stuff and just want to help,” Dillard said. 

Dillard said the Collaborative is seeking material donations and help from people who can sew. To reach him, email:

Center spokeswoman Cynthia Steger-Wilson said the health facility’s employees are excited to receive community help meeting the Center’s mask need, and said preliminary plans call for coordinating mask deliveries to the Union Street health facility through Dilliard.

“The face mask project is a go. We want to thank the community for this wonderful project,” said Steger-Wilson.

With 600 employees and 42,000 patients seen annually, the Center uses more than 100 protective masks a day, said Practice Manager Rosie Conway. 

She said the nationwide mask shortage triggered by coronavirus spurred the Center to reach out to automotive, commercial painting and other industry suppliers for masks, without much success.

She said the Collaborative’s offer reflects an outpouring of community support in the form of food offers and other help for Center employees and patients. 

“Ted said the Collaborative had a massive volume of requests for how to help us. He has folks ready and willing to sew masks,” Conway said. 

Dillard said the Collaborative is also working on obtaining a large amount of material classified as medical-grade quality for mask production. 

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at