UTHSC pharmacy students make masks for under-served communities

By , Daily Memphian Updated: May 29, 2020 1:58 PM CT | Published: May 29, 2020 1:57 PM CT

The UTHSC College of Pharmacy chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) is making face coverings to help underserved communities in Tennessee during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter president Amelia Thompson said the group wanted to donate the masks to underserved African American communities because they have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“Many African Americans work in high risk/essential jobs and aren’t able to work from home,” she said. “It was important for us to make face coverings for this community so that they can protect themselves as best as they can.”

The chapter has donated 40 face coverings to Parkway Health and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Memphis affected by an outbreak. It also donated 31 face coverings to Pruitt Discount Pharmacy, an independent African American-owned pharmacy in East Nashville.

“I am proud of our SNPhA chapter for their efforts to serve those most in need during this time,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Marie Chisholm-Burns.

More than 100 face coverings have been donated to Memphis Health Center, a medical center that provides care to underserved African-American communities.

“Our patients here in North Memphis have expressed difficulties finding face coverings or even finding supplies to make them,” said Sheila Liddell, a graduate of the College of Pharmacy and employee at the health center.

Patients at the clinic often fall into high-risk categories for COVID-19 due to underlying conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory disorders.

 “Thanks to the SNPhA chapter, we have been able to assist in lowering the fear of the virus and providing those without masks an option,” she said.

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UTHSC College of Pharmacy Student National Pharmaceutical Association Amelia Thompson
Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She's lived and reported in the city more than two decades. She covers healthcare and higher education for The Daily Memphian.


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