Participation: The Masking Together Challenge funds healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19

Dr Elaine Chin in Toronto is hoping to attract even more donations once the current wave of COVID-19 cases subsides.RICK O’BRIEN / Document

The organizer: Elaine chin

Field : Create the Masking Together challenge

When the pandemic took hold in March 2020, Elaine Chin had a strange sense of déjà vu.

Dr Chin, a family doctor in Toronto, recalled the difficult days of the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the toll it took on healthcare workers. “I was sitting at home knowing exactly what all the nurses and doctors were going through,” said Dr Chin, who founded the Executive Health Center in Toronto and also runs a consultation service called the Innovation Health Group. .

Her own practice was quickly affected by the spread of COVID-19. One of her patients who was about to start chemotherapy could not find a face mask. Dr Chin tried to buy a box of masks herself, but encountered logistical problems. She didn’t give up and started the Masking Together Challenge in partnership with her alma mater, the University of Toronto School of Medicine, to raise money to buy masks.

In three months, she raised $ 200,000, which funded supplies of PPE for health workers and short-term housing for workers who needed to self-isolate. In the fall of 2020, Dr Chin launched a second fundraising challenge to provide PPE to staff in nursing homes and homeless shelters. And in 2021, she created the “One” Masking Together challenge with a book titled Happy to see you again!, a wellness guide to help people recover from the pandemic. She donates part of the book sales to the UNICEF Vaccine Fund.

Dr Chin estimated that she has raised nearly $ 500,000 in total for various COVID-19 support programs, and she hopes to attract more donations once the current wave of cases subsides.I have a lot more of a business practice so people can write checks so I asked people to write checks, ”she said. “If I can’t go to the hospital, I can give people the tools to stay safe. That’s what we did and now I’m trying to give people the tools to be healthier.

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