SPRINGFIELD — Advanced Vein Care Center, one of the leading treatment centers in New England for venous diseases, recently donated 33,000 medical face masks to schools in Western Mass. The Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee school systems, as well as Veritas Prep Charter School in Springfield, received the masks to distribute to students and staff.
“With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our area, we wanted to do something to assist the hardworking teachers, support staff, and students in our local schools,” said Dr. K. Francis Lee, medical director of Advanced Vein Care Center. “The last thing they should have to worry about is having the right mask to protect them, so we are hoping this donation helps alleviate some stress and brings peace of mind.”
Students and staff in the state of Massachusetts are currently required to wear masks at school; medical-grade masks, like the ones donated by Advanced Vein Care, are recommended. All of the school systems expressed their gratitude, noting that it has been difficult to keep up with the demand for personal protective equipment within their schools.
“It seems like we are constantly ordering masks, and it can be hard to make sure everyone who needs a mask has one,” said Brian Harris, facilities manager for Holyoke Public Schools. “This donation is a huge support and will be put to good use helping our students and staff stay safe.”
Rachel Romano, founder and executive director of Veritas Prep, added that “having a mask on hand when a student loses, forgets, or doesn’t have the resources to buy one is very important. This donation will help our students and staff focus on the more important work of teaching and learning.”
Lee said that “supporting our schools, especially the teachers who are taking care of our children during this pandemic, has always been critically important to me and to our staff in the practice. It was encouraging to hear how these schools could put these masks to good use. We are hoping for other area businesses to also contribute to help our teachers and support staff in the schools.”