Published on April 30, 2020

FISHING FOR MASKS: CRMC, Essentia make a joint appeal for more face masks

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and Essentia Health today announced a joint effort to increase their supply of homemade face masks.

And they need your help.

Through the “Fishing for Masks” campaign, the healthcare facilities are seeking continued support from our communities, which already have been so generous. These homemade cloth masks help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients, staff and communities.

This virus is spread via droplet transmission, so it’s crucially important to cover as many mouths and noses as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to wear face coverings in public settings, especially where social distancing might not be possible.

“CRMC is so grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity from our communities,” said CRMC Charitable Fund Coordinator Jennifer Podsiadly. “It is amazing to see how we have come together to support one another in these uncertain times. Our staff is working tirelessly to ensure that patients are safe and cared for while simultaneously anticipating and preparing for what’s next. Thank you for helping to protect area healthcare workers.”

Community support has been heartfelt, a sentiment echoed repeatedly as the two health care systems collaborate on this drive.

“In the past month, I have talked with many people who are making masks.  Everyone is overjoyed that their talent is being put to use during this time,” said Deb Anderson, Essentia Health Volunteer Services Supervisor.  “They have otherwise felt helpless staying at home and not doing something.  Knowing that they are helping to save lives in one way or another has given them purpose and JOY that they are assisting health care.  One person told me that sewing was a dying art, and was so excited to get out the sewing machine again and actually be of great help.  It warms my heart to see so many people making masks and giving during this time.  THANK YOU, EVERYONE.”

Step-by-step instructions for preferred mask designs can be found at

Masks, as well as other items, can be dropped off at:

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
320 East Main Street, Crosby, MN 56441
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm at donation bin outside the main entrance.

For an alternative time contact Jennifer Podsiadly:
218-545-4455 or

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center
523 North Third Street, Brainerd, MN 56401
Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at emergency entrance. Call 218-828-7550 upon arrival.  Remain in your car and staff will come out to accept your donation.

For questions call Deb Anderson at 218-828-7610
NOTE: an Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation corporate donor will donate $1 for every mask up to $5,000!

To coordinate interviews, photos, and/or video, contact the media relations team.

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