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OU Medical Students Launch Million Mask Challenge

OU Medical Students Launch Million Mask Challenge

hand off of hand-sewn masks through car window
boxes being loaded into truck

As the nation faces its most challenging health care crisis, the need for personal protective equipment continues to grow. To help fill the need and protect Oklahoma’s health care workers, OU medical students have partnered with OU Medicine to launch the Million Mask Challenge.

So far, more than 30,000 masks have been donated, along with other essential protective equipment like eye protection, gowns and gloves.

“Everyone receiving these donations is incredibly grateful for the efforts of our volunteers in the community,” said third-year medical student Clark Higganbotham. “We are so thankful for the amazing response and hope the donations continue to pour in over the next several weeks.”

Higganbotham encourages members of the community to participate by sewing cloth masks. Patterns are available online, or those who sew can watch a tutorial by Rachel Mix with the Department of Medical Informatics at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine.

“Once the masks are ready, individuals can take them to one of our two drop-off locations, or they can schedule a porch pick-up,” Higganbotham said.

Drop-off locations are available in Oklahoma City at the OU Children’s Hospital, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and in Tulsa at the Schusterman Center Clinic, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Medical students are also available to pick up donations in Oklahoma City, arranged by calling (405) 283-8479, and in Tulsa, scheduled by calling (918) 409-2395.

Donated masks are checked for quality and then distributed according to need, with masks going to health care workers, patients and visitors at OU Physicians, OU Medicine, Stephenson Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital and OUHSC Family Medicine Center.

Rachel Davis, a third-year medical student, also has played a leading role in the project.

“I am amazed at the number of people who are willing to work together to fill a need in the community,” said Davis. “These people include not only individuals, but also companies like Acorn Growth, Century Martial Arts Supply, Dolese, Marathon Oil, Mathis Brothers, Oklahoma Dental Association and the OU Research community.”

To join the effort to provide desperately needed masks or to support the challenge financially, contact or visit Million Mask Challenge.


By Mackenzie Scheer

Photos courtesy of Bryan Terry and Doug Hoke of The Oklahoman

Article Published: Wednesday, May 6, 2020