Updated Aug 3, 2020
AmeriClerkships is proud to be the first U.S. Medical Education Services institution to provide PPEs to its independent medical students, graduates and hospitals in need.
Since March 15, 2020, the multi-phase AmeriClerkships COVID-19 Relief Fund for the 2021 Match has been instrumental in keeping AmeriClerkships Members who are planning on participating in the 2021 Main Residency Match on track by offering free Loyalty Memberships, free clinical rotations and needs-based financial relief. We are thrilled to announce the Phase 3 expansion of AmeriClerkships COVID-19 Relief Fund for the 2021 Match with focus on healthcare worker’s safety, by securing PPEs for our in-need Members and affiliated hospitals.
The Problem of PPE Shortage & U.S. Clinical Rotations
Soon after AmeriClerkships’ 3/17/20 recommendation to all of its members to bring their own PPEs to each clinical rotation, stories of PPE bidding wars, PPE thefts, global shortage of PPEs and increasing popularity of homemade PPEs made us realize that not only will our Members have a hard time securing any PPEs prior to their rotations, but also our key affiliated healthcare facilities and residency programs may be having a growing unmet need for PPEs which they may not want to publicize. One residency program reported that they are in dire need of any type of face masks, since a local hospital finally donated 300 surgical masks after begging them, and they’re down to only 32 N95s for their 18 residents and many more nursing staff. AmeriClerkships Members were naturally worried about their safety, and some hospitals even warned of cancelling clinical rotations due to PPE shortages; so we AmeriClerkships got to work!
The Solution to PPE Shortage for AmeriClerkships Members & Affiliated Hospitals
With the unwavering help of committed AmeriClerkships staff, and lots and lots of research, we vetted over 50 PPE vendors, cross referenced their product classifications and performance standards to NIOSH, and narrowed our results to a handful of vendors from whom we’ve purchased thousands of (and even returned thousands of questionable) PPEs, with a lazer sharp focus on securing N95, KN95 and FFP2/3 face masks. The first shipment of 3,000 KN95 with FFP2 product classifications arrived on 4/23/2020, which were donated to a primary care clinic in Atlanta serving the underserved, and sent to AmeriClerkships Members who pre-purchased PPE Packages with clinical block starts in <14 days on 4/24/2020 using FedEx 2-3 day shipping.
Additional shipments of PPEs are expected to come into and leave AmeriClerkships over the next several weeks. Our plan is to sell at cost 40% of these PPEs to our Members with upcoming U.S. clinical starts in the months of May, June and July, and donate 60% to our affiliated U.S. hospitals and primary care centers so they can distribute them amongst their care providers.
The Actual Cost of PPEs
Depending on the PPE in question, cost can vary greatly. Pre-COVID, KN95/FFP2 masks could be purchased at or below $1 a piece, but today, that same mask can cost as high as $8 each. The greatest cost incurred is in shipping. Below are the cost for the first round of our KN95/FFP2 masks shipment we are expecting at AmeriClerkships:
Base cost to receive 3000 KN95/FFP2 masks from China:
- Minimum order: 3000 (150 boxes of 20)
- KN95/FFP2 per mask cost: $1.69/mask
- International shipping: $1755
- Trade Insurance: $136.50 (2%)
- Total: $6961.50, or $46.41 for a box of 20
Additional average costs incurred by AmeriClerkships to send 1 box of 20 KN95/FFP2 masks to its Members and healthcare facilities in the United States:
- Handling and FedEx preparation at AmeriClerkships: $10-$25
- FedEx 2-3 day delivery (https://www.fedex.com/en-us/online/rating.html; $30-60): $50 flat rate (average $30-60 to anywhere in the contiguous United States)
- Management of above: Highly variable, but no less than $1000/week
Therefore below are the net costs incurred, which are the exact same prices our Members-in-need will pay regardless of any added expenses we incur as a result of obtaining KN95/FFP2 masks, or by including other PPEs as they arrive at AmeriClerkships for free:
- One box of 20 KN95/FFP2 masks, including US FedEx: $121.41 ($46.41 + $50 + $25)
- 10 (two sleeves of 5) KN95/FFP2 masks, including US FedEx: $83.20 ($23.20 + $50 + $10)
- Additional sleeves of 5 KN95/FFP2 masks (if shipped in the same box as above): $11.60/sleeve of 5
AmeriClerkships Members: See below on how to purchase your PPE Package and additional boxes of KN95/FFP2.
PPE Package Donations to Affiliated Healthcare Centers
The AmeriClerkships COVID-Response Team is in direct communication with our affiliated healthcare facilities and key allies to establish their need for PPEs. As of 4/25/2020, AmeriClerkships has donated 2,180 KN95/FFP2 face masks to healthcare facilities in Illinois, DC, Florida and Georgia. The distribution of PPEs will be up to each hospital administration to coordinate.
AmeriClerkships Affiliated Healthcare Facilities: See below on how to apply for PPE donations.