Concord University President Kendra Boggess delivers masks to Princeton Community Hospital CEO, Jeff Lilly.

PRINCETON — Protective masks are becoming scarce items as the coronavirus pandemic continues, so a local university has stepped up to help by donating more than 2,000 masks to a Mercer County hospital.

Concord University in Athens took action when Dr. Jill Nolan, associate professor of health education, learned that Princeton Community Hospital had a dwindling supply of masks. She checked with various departments and learned that the university’s art department and physical plant had some supplies.

“The masks were in the art building to be used occasionally when a student would undertake a woodworking task that would require a lot of sanding,” James Biggs, chair of the Art Department, said about his department’s donation.

The masks are not needed now that classes are being offered online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our art classes are all remote now,” Biggs stated. “Jill Nolan was asking about masks, and I didn’t think they should just sit there if the hospital was in need.”

President Kendra Boggess personally delivered the masks to PCH on behalf of Concord University. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mark Pickett, RN, explained how this donation will help the hospital.

“Under normal operating times, the hospital struggles with personal protective equipment (PPE) due to existing allocations that we are under from suppliers. Now, with the COVID-19 threat, the increase in our PPE usage, and the ability for our regular supply chain to provide for our needs, shortages are occurring,” Pickett said.

The donation will help the hospital fulfill its needs and help its partners.

“Princeton Community Hospital Association is grateful for this donation, not only to help meet the needs of our organization, but also allowing us to assist with our healthcare coalition partnership of public health, emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire services and county emergency management,” Pickett stated. “If someone is in a greater need than us, this allows our partners to stay safe.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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