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National campaign donates masks to Hoosier hospitals

(photo courtesy of the IU Kelley School of Business)

BLOOMINGTON and INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A campaign organized through the Indiana University School of Business has led to 10,000 masks being delivered to hospitals in Indianapolis and Bloomington. The #RealHeroesNeedMasks campaign is also looking to provide masks for hospitals in six other states, including New York.

The campaign last week presented 4,000 masks to Community Health Network, 4,000 masks to IU Health hospitals in Indy and 2,000 masks to IU Health Bloomington hospital.

The campaign was born out of an “Idea Sprint” at the Kelley School, which was designed to explore solutions to COVID-19 challenges. IU says more than 200 entrepreneurs, coders, engineers, medical doctors, nurses, venture capitalists and other business professionals worked virtually to develop 19 potential solutions to COVID-19 issues.

“Doctors, nurses, mid-levels, respiratory therapists and medical assistants and first responders are risking their own lives daily in this pandemic are the real heroes,” said Dr. Amani Jambhekar, a Houston-based cancer surgeon and student in the Kelley Direct online MBA program. “Our goal is to convince the public to be sidekicks and donate masks. Our movement started as a weekend idea sprint which was supposed to be handed off to entrepreneurs who could make it happen. It turns out we’re the entrepreneurs, and this project has already engaged so many healthcare professionals looking for a way to give back to our front lines.”

IU says the campaign will soon provide masks to 30 hospitals in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, California and Georgia. Organizers have also set up donation centers at outpatient clinics in 25 cities throughout the country.