Suburban orthodontist spearheads collection drive of gloves, face masks

Mark Abrams
March 26, 2020 - 10:48 am
Reading Orthodontics Group collection drive

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

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POTTSTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — After hearing health care workers’ plea for personal protective equipment, like face masks, gloves and gowns, Dr. Natalie Parisi of Reading Orthodontics Group jumped into action.

Medical professionals at Reading Hospital — near her Wyomissing practice — were running on short supply amid the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

She went through her own storage closet and found boxes of surplus masks and gloves, so she decided to supplement her donation with a collection drive, targeting fellow dentists by way of social media, texts and emails.

Parisi, who practices in Berks and Montgomery counties, delivered the first load of supplies to Reading Hospital last week. She wants to send the next batch to Pottstown Hospital.

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“We put it on our Facebook page to let people know, and then we had a lot of requests saying, ‘Yes, we have things to donate.’ So then decided Pottstown Hospital needs our help as well,” she said.

“We have basic masks, but the hospitals want them to put over the N95 masks because they can then reuse the N95 mask,” she explained. “We actually have a bunch of team members right now who are sewing masks because the hospitals said those are great to put over the N95, and then they could be washing them.”

The next collection is scheduled for Thursday between 2 and 4 p.m. at the parking lot of the group’s Pottstown office, 1830 E. High St.

Parisi said fellow dentists have already made generous donations to her drives.

“We’ve collected maybe 30 cases of gloves and probably six cases of masks,” she said. “And we even had a couple people donate some N95 masks that had them in their office for whatever reason.”

Parisi hopes the collections will encourage more orthodontists and dental practices in the area to imitate her example.