Press Release: Oregon Community Rallies To Fight Outbreak

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With the COVID-19 outbreak in America, local communities all over the country have felt the impact of this growing pandemic. As the virus spread, one fact became disturbingly evident– as a nation and a healthcare system, the United States has critical shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its frontline health care workers (HCWs). 

On March 20th, in an effort to protect their beloved communities, Dr. Laurel R. Berge and Mr. Maui Meyer of Hood River founded the nonprofit organization, HMB50.

HMB50 would begin work with professional garment factories, retooling their facilities so that they could re-employ laid off workers and manufacture single use isolation gowns to fight back against the growing crisis.

Only 7 days later, the full strength of the surrounding community was brought to bear behind the HMB50 banner. With an outpouring of support and a stalwart effort, the first HMB50 gowns were purchased from factories to be donated to hospitals. The first gown that was delivered to the community came with a promise from the founders:“We’ve got your back.” 

HMB50’s goal is to purchase and then donate 100,000 gowns over the next three months to 2 separate EMergency Distribution Centers, serving 10 OR counties. 

Thanks to the generosity of the community, what started as a simple human plea for help has evolved into an orchestrated network of dedicated individuals working towards a common goal. That goal is to provide safety, health, and peace of mind to the brave heroes on the frontlines, who protect us all from this deadly pandemic.

Without support from neighbors, friends and people from all over the country, this operation could not continue to exist.

HMB50 aims to serve the medical community here in Oregon and across the United States by not only retooling factories, and donating isolation gowns but also by providing the gown’s tech pack, in an open source manner, to any state or professional factory so that this process can be replicated.

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