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Jessica Baylor and many of her classmates in Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s (GCSOM) MD Class of 2022 felt helpless.

Although COVID-19 hasn’t stopped them from studying to care for patients in the future, they felt that should be doing something to help now, in the present crisis.
“Many of us felt we should be doing something,” Jessica said, adding that as the students researched how they could help, they found the website “That’s where we got the idea to collect gowns, masks, gloved and wipes from businesses like hair and nail salons.” Student volunteers called scores of surrounding small business requesting donations and fanned out to pick them up. Jessica said her group is careful to make certain they only pick up personal protective equipment (PPE) hospitals can actually use, “so we don’t take unnecessarily from the community.”
Jessica said her fellow members of the Class of 2022, Johanna (Jai) Dungca and Dougan McGrath worked on their own website and Instagram (@ppe2nepa) sites.
Meanwhile, Sara Hunsicker and members of the MD Class of 2023 were working on their own project to make do-it-yourself face masks. Fortunately, the students found each other and the community-wide mask-making project called Masked Bandits run by the Lackawanna and Luzerne Medical Societies. At present, they are all working together to collect PPE that already exists in the business community and to produce handmade masks that will protect members of the public. “Tonyehn Verkitus, executive director at the medical society and her Masked Bandits group are doing a fantastic job,” Jessica said. “GCSOM student volunteers are helping by collecting and distributing supplies, like fabric, to Masked Bandits, then taking the finished masks to Sarno’s, the tuxedo company in Scranton, where they are being cleaned free of charge.” The freshly cleaned masks and then distributed by Masked Bandits.
Jessica said the response from GCSOM students has been “incredible.” To date, the PPE collection effort has resulted in numerous N95 masks, more than 500 surgical masks, gowns and more than 2,000 gloves of varied sizes. The student website takes requests for the PPE and delivers what it can. For example, a local ambulance service received some of the N95 masks the students collected. featured our students in their “How Med Students Are Stepping Up To Aid Coronavirus Efforts” article on April 9, 2020.
To make a donation in the fight against COVID-19, please visit or call 800-739-6882.
Jessica Baylor, MD Class of 2022, makes a delivery for PPE 2 NEPA.
Jessica Baylor (pictured) and many of her classmates have formed "PPE 2 NEPA" - a student group comprised of medical students and other aspiring health professionals who are working together to help relieve the stressors of COVID-19 in northeast Pennsylvania. ​