Summit Nurse Launches Mask Up MN

When Summit nurse Karyn Brisk learned about the need for help in making face masks for patients, she brought together a group of healthcare professionals to start Mask Up MN.

Check any social or news feed, and you are bound to read about the CDC’s new recommendation for everyone to wear cloth face masks when out in public, as an additional measure to social distancing. Because we reserve surgical masks and N-95 respirators for our front line heroes across the country, there has been a flood of guides posted on how to sew your own face mask at home, and even “no sew” versions for the less crafty among us.

Need for patient masks

In line with CDC guidelines, Summit requires all patients to wear a mask (scarf or bandanna work too) before coming to Summit for care. This helps protect staff and other patients in the case that someone has been infected with COVID-19 and isn’t showing any symptoms yet.

Since there is a shortage of masks nationwide, Summit didn’t have any extra supplies to offer to patients coming in who didn’t have masks. That’s when, Summit president, Robert Anderson, M.D., sent out a call to all Summit family members asking those who are able to start making masks to make available to our patients. Within minutes responses were coming in from Summit team members offering to make anywhere from a few masks to 500.

A big idea from a Summit nurse

Karyn Brisk, a registered nurse at Summit Orthopedics, said, “When Dr. Anderson emailed the message about making masks amid this shortage, I got emotional. It was very moving. So I started planning.” She then started contacting fellow healthcare workers about her idea. Karyn shared, “I thought the best way to help would be to organize a mask-making community to help serve those in need, and we quickly set up a website where people can create masks and healthcare organizations can request them.”

Check out the website:

Her goal? “It is extremely simple,” she said. “My goal is to receive donations through six separate drop off locations around the Twin Cities and distribute them to organizations in need, including Summit.”

For those who have access to sewing machines and supplies to make masks, join Karyn and a team of medical workers in the effort to sew masks for patients of healthcare organizations here in the metro area. It’s a way to make a difference today in the battle against COVID-19 and help flatten the curve as much as possible.

When asked about Karyn’s initiative, Dr. Anderson described it as, “another WOW moment by our employees.” While crises can bring out the worst in some people, it can also, more importantly, bring out the best in others.

Update: Over the course of the many months that MaskUp MN was in action, they made and donated a total of 8,192 masks.


Summit provides care during COVID-19

Summit exists to bring hope and healing to those suffering with conditions and injuries affecting bones and joints. That’s why OrthoQUICK locations are open, and staff and physicians come every day to care for those who are hurt and in pain. If you are in need of urgent orthopedic care, grab a mask, bandanna, or scarf from home and come in to one of the three OrthoQUICK locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, or Woodbury (Landmark). They are open every day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a team ready to serve you.

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