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Charles Ingoglia, MSW

President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health

We Aren’t Masking Our Intentions – We Want to Keep You Safe

May 12, 2020 | COVID-19 | Comments
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Protective masks

It’s about more than a mask.

It’s about letting you know the National Council has your back. It’s about making sure you’re safe. And it’s about providing you with the resources you need to reduce your risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

I’m so proud that I can finally say the masks we scoured the globe for are beginning to reach all of you.

Acquiring the masks and getting them to you required an enormous effort. It involved a tremendous learning curve as well. But no one objected because we understood the enormous need among National Council members.

I was profoundly disappointed by the stories you told me about your inability to find PPE. I worried about your risk of exposure. I worried that no one truly understood that you put your lives on the line every day.

You are on the frontlines, in many cases working alongside doctors and nurses. But you aren’t at the front of the line when state and federal agencies hand out personal protective equipment.

With so many of you left empty handed, we took matters into our own hands. We began a global search for masks. I can’t tell you how many calls we made. How many leads we pursued. And I can’t tell you how fortunate we felt when we finally found a manufacturer willing to fulfill our order for 2.3 million masks.

Mild anxiety nudged that feeling of satisfaction aside once we realized we had only completed half of the battle – until the masks arrived in the U.S. and cleared Customs, we weren’t able to declare victory. We knew there were no guarantees, and a few sleepless nights ensued.

But now the journey is nearly complete.

When the masks arrived recently in Wisconsin, where our contractor prepared the orders for distribution, I breathed a sigh of relief and felt weeks of stress leave my body. I know I wasn’t alone. Executive Vice President Jeannie Campbell felt the same relief, and she deserves so much credit for leading the charge and working with our incredible National Council staff to obtain these masks.

And I hope you know that you aren’t alone. We are so proud that we could do this for you. Proud we became supply chain experts on the fly. Proud that we can fulfill this enormous need. And proud that we can help keep you safe.

It’s about more than a mask. It’s about having each other’s back.