UI College of Pharmacy alumnus and local community pharmacist Robbie Schwenker, and David Krupp, an emergency physician in Iowa City, have started a movement to promote 'COVID-conscious' businesses as the state of Iowa begins to open up.The initiative—'Mask of Wellness'—is a positive, empowering approach to enhance the safety of employees and patrons in communities, and provides education and tools for businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The free program offers a Mask of Wellness 'certification' for COVID-conscious businesses who support three basic impactful measures: 1) Mask worn by all employees; 2) Personal/surface/distance hygiene; and 3) Daily health self-certification.
In early May, about 15 UI College of Pharmacy students from the National Community Pharmacists Association, Kappa Psi, American College of Clinical Pharmacy and UI-Pain Management, Substance Use Disorder, Palliative Care, in addition to UI College of Medicine students, helped kick-off the program by distributing information and instruction packets to 250+ businesses in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. Each packet included an introduction letter, flyers, door clings, and information businesses can post at their physical locations and digitally.
We felt Mask of Wellness was important to have a lot of student support. As future pharmacy leaders and members of the community, it was great to have a chance to get out and support our local businesses that support us all in these unique times.
To date, 60+ businesses have registered for the free program, and it is now being supported by Meld Marketing and the Entrepreneurial Development Center. With the initial success of the program, Schwenker and Krupp are in the process of expanding their team and the program beyond the local area. Part of the expansion involves updating it's website in the coming weeks to create a searchable business directory for consumers to find businesses that have implemented 'COVID-conscious' measures.
Dr. David Krupp and I knew that the best way of kick-starting this public health initiative was to have involvement from our future practitioners at the UI College of Pharmacy and the UI Carver College of Medicine. We are so grateful to have such a supportive university in our community.
To learn more about the Mask of Wellness initiative and how you can get involved, please visit www.maskofwellness.com.