News Release

Latter-day Saint Charities Partners with Utah Health Care Entities to Donate 5 Million Clinical Face Masks

Personal protective equipment will be donated to the state’s health care professionals treating COVID-19 patients

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.

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“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.

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.

Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Together, the partners worked with other community members and experts from various fields to design a simple clinical face mask pattern and source medical-grade material.

To accomplish the 5 million clinical face mask goal, volunteers are being asked to sign up on, a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and people wishing to extend a helping hand can enroll in service opportunities.

Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith who register to participate in Project Protect will pick up bags of unassembled clinical face masks at one of the following five Church Deseret Industries locations in Utah: American Fork, Harrisville, Layton, Murray or Riverton.

To abide by COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the distribution center’s donation drive-through area will be temporarily converted into a drive-up location for volunteers to pull up in their vehicles and receive printed sewing instructions and a pattern to help them understand how to assemble the clinical face masks.

Each clinical face mask kit contains 100 unassembled clinical face masks made from medical-grade polypropylene, which offers a similar level of protection as approved surgical masks.

It should take each volunteer approximately five minutes to sew each mask, and within a few days, the Project Protect helpers will return them to the same location. The assembled clinical face masks will then be cleaned before distribution.

“I would just say to all of the people who are volunteering in different ways: If you’re helping in the community, if you’re babysitting first responder kids, if you’re teaching your children at home, if you are a first responder, if you’re working in a care center or in a health facility, we are so grateful for you, and our goal is to help support you so that we can get through this pandemic together,” said Sister Eubank.

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