At Green House we often say “It’s all about relationships” and that certainly was the case for Green House partner Jewish Senior Life (JSL) in Rochester, N.Y.. Early on in the pandemic, JSL had trouble finding PPE that was accessible and affordable.
An Unlikely Connection
It’s a story of creativity and relationships. The JSL team wondered if the local Amish community might be able to help. This is when JSL Chief Information Officer Travis Masonis stepped up to make a crucial connection. Masonis knew his father had a relationship with the Amish community, so he asked him to make an inquiry about creating cloth PPE.
Travis’ dad reached out to Moes, the general store manager for the Amish, who spread the word about their willingness to sew the gowns in their homes. Twenty women agreed to do so using a pattern created by Travis. The women sewed small, medium, and large gowns on pedal operated sewing machines.
Over a period of several weeks, the community sewed reusable cloth PPE isolation gowns–roughly 10,000 of them. JSL CEO Mike King drove up each Friday to pick up the completed gowns. As it turned out, the low incidence of COVID cases and deaths at JSL meant they didn’t need all of the gowns.
A Pay It Forward Opportunity
This turn of events enabled JSL to make a “pay it forward” contribution to other nursing homes. As a member of a New York non-profit alliance with five other nursing homes, JSL shared the gowns with the other homes dealing with larger coronavirus outbreaks.
We applaud the efforts and hard work by the local Amish community and the creative approaches to meet a practical need at JSL and within their nursing home alliance!