- Clear masks will be used to help hearing impaired and child patients who have had trouble communicating with doctors and nurses wearing full masks during the coronavirus
- Masks will be distributed among 13 hospitals and 200 clinics across North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 22, 2020) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. (NYSE: RTX), today announced a donation of 5,000 clear face masks to Novant Health. The masks will be distributed among 13 hospitals and 200 clinics across North Carolina.
While full face masks are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, they can also create challenges for individuals who are hearing impaired and rely on lip reading to communicate. For hearing impaired patients at Novant Health, it had become difficult to communicate with doctors and nurses wearing full face masks during the coronavirus. Novant Health pediatricians were also finding that the full masks made it hard for children to understand them and increased their anxiety.
When the clear face mask suppliers Novant Health contacted said they would be out of stock for several months, the hospital system reached out to Collins Aerospace for help.
“Our supply chain team was able to identify a vendor that had the clear masks in stock and we were pleased to donate them to Novant at no cost,” said Carrie Reeder, senior director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Collins Aerospace. “We are also providing the clear masks to our own employee groups with hearing impaired workers to improve their ability to communicate as well. The coronavirus continues to create unforeseen challenges for the communities we serve and we are committed to providing all the assistance we can to help our community partners navigate the unprecedented challenges they’re facing.”
“With these masks, Collins Aerospace has given Novant Health the opportunity to immediately address a health equity issue amongst our deaf and hard of hearing patients,” said Pam Oliver, president of Novant Health’s physician network. “Subtle cues signaled through facial expressions – like a smile – are crucial to communicating with deaf and hard of hearing patients. Those are lost behind a mask. With clear masks, we’re able to restore a sense of comfort and reassurance to this patient population, delivering the remarkable care they deserve.”