Director of Walters State’s Physical Therapist Assistant program making mask covers for healthcare professionals

Marisa Miller is making mask covers for local health care providers.

Physical Therapist Marisa Miller often wears a mask and encourages her students to do the same.

As director of Walters State’s Physical Therapist Assistant program, Miller trains students to provide physical therapy in a variety of settings.

Now, Miller is providing an extra layer of mask protection to many of her former students and other health care providers.

“With the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers, many are using masks for several days that should only be used once,” Miller said.

“I thought about how I could help and I found a pattern for a mask cover that was approved by the CDC. The cover can fit over a respiratory mask. It keeps debris from getting on the mask and makes it possible for the mask to last longer,” Miller said.

The mask covers may also be laundered and worn many times. The finished mask looks just like a regular mask, but it will go over the regular mask.

Over the weekend, Miller made over 200 mask covers with the help of her mother at a second sewing machine. Her husband and her father form an assembly line.

Miller is using what the CDC requires: 100% breathable cotton. She has made both adult- and child-sized masks. Once the word got out, requests for the masks came quickly.

“I’ve had many former students reach out and say that they need 25 for their department or the ICU needs 30. I mail the masks, but I also have a place at home where people can pick them up at my house without any face-to-face contact. People have been so kind and generous. I haven’t asked for anything, but people have left or sent donations, which I have used to buy more supplies,” Miller said.

While most have been distributed locally, Miller has received requests from other states, including some for friends in her small Minnesota hometown.

State PPEs arrive in

Hamblen County

A shipment of personal protection equipment for medical workers has arrived in Hamblen County, Mayor Bill Brittain said Friday morning.

The equipment is being distributed to first responders and health care workers, Brittain said but donations are still being accepted.

Donations are being accepted at all fire stations within the city limits of Morristown.