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PPE Shortage Briefing

Get Us PPE Weekly Briefing

By May 19, 2020February 2nd, 2021No Comments

By Amanda Peery-Wolf

GetUsPPE Article in The Lancet

Map of US PPE NeedsOn Friday, May 15th, GetUsPPE put out a press release announcing a Correspondence article in The Lancet authored by several of our team members. The article analyzes data from GetUsPPE’s Demand Data Hub, showing that the PPE shortage remains widespread. It looks at the breakdown of registered needs across, for example, income quadrants, regions of the country, and urban, suburban, and rural areas. This study establishes GetUsPPE as the leading source of PPE demand data in the US. 

The Fairness Framework

We have launched “Fairness Framework” for the equitable distribution of PPE. One of the most heart-wrenching questions our team faces is where and how to distribute a limited supply of PPE. There is no perfect solution. 

Our primary considerations are logistical. Given the urgency of the PPE crisis, we are prioritizing speed and efficiency in getting PPE to frontline healthcare workers. But with COVID-19 continuing to have a disproportionate effect on under-resourced communities, we are also committed to, at the very least, not perpetuating inequities in access to medical supplies. 

Public health equity and logistics experts on our team consulted with yet more experts and worked with developers to create a system that takes fairness into account. This Fairness Framework is built around an algorithm, combined with manual supply-demand matching, that allows us to include factors such as whether a facility accepts Medicaid, whether it offers low- or no-cost treatment, and demographic data about the population it serves. 

We hope that someday soon we will not need the Fairness Framework–or any framework–to think about the distribution of necessary medical equipment. We hope that someday soon every frontline worker will have the PPE they need to stay safe. 

Makers mobilized

Makers are an important force bolstering the global supply of PPE. The GetUsPPE Makers Team works with maker networks all over the country, including a group called Open Source Medical Supplies (OSMS). In this video, OSMS tells the story of 28,000 makers signing up for their movement off the bat. They reported making 238,000 units of PPE across the world in just one week. To join the maker force and register PPE designs for vetting, visit the makers page on our site.

A sampling of GetUsPPE success stories

Over the past week, GetUsPPE and its regional affiliates have delivered more shipments than can fit in a briefing, but here are a few stories from around the country: 

In continuing joint efforts between GetUsPPE and Boston Scientific, 7,800 isolation gowns went out to twelve sites, including a site within a Native American reservation.  

Three thousand face shields arrived in Oregon, to be distributed to 60 locations across the state (below left). Cole Grinnel at Morgan State University donated 10,000 nitrile gloves (below right).

PPE Deliveries

In Rhode Island, a regional group distributed 1880 PPE units in a day, with another distribution day to come and the remaining PPE to be given to the RI Department of Health. 

PPE Dropoff

By Amanda Peery-Wolf, a writer, editor, poet, and member of the GetUsPPE Marketing and Communications Team.

Amanda Peery-Wolf