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Olean General Hospital


OGH, city of Olean receive mask donation

Posted on: 04/16/2020

Pictured, in front, from left, Capt. Mike Marsfelder, Mayor William Aiello, Dr. Tahir Chauhdry, Shabana Chauhdry, Sue Mikolajczyk, Lanna Waterman, Dawn Frungillo, Rose Orcutt, Micki Orcutt, and Gail Bagazzoli. In back, Dr. William Mills, Rick Braun, Jeff Zewe, Mike Wesley, Steve Jackson, and Tom Orcutt.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting supplies of critical PPE for healthcare staff, a Florida doctor came up with the idea to make masks using materials already found in hospitals.

Shabana and Tahir Chauhdry, DO, recently watched a news segment about the University of Florida’s Dr. Bruce Spiess who designed a mask comparable to an N95 mask using a material commonly used by hospitals to wrap sterile surgical instruments to protect them from airborne contamination. It sparked an idea to help the Olean community.

Shabana bought the materials and started making masks with the help of the Southern Tier Quilt Guild and Rose and Micki Orcutt, RN. The group personally donated 600 masks Thursday to Olean General Hospital and the City of Olean.

In addition to the mask’s filtering ability, the mask can be sterilized and reused. While not currently approved by the FDA, the University of Florida is currently seeking a patent for the masks.

Shabana said the group plans to make more and donate to first responders next. “It’s important to keep everyone healthy. (Today) we’re donating to give back to the hospital,” she said.

“The safety of our employees is paramount. We appreciate all you’ve been doing. This shows our community coming together. We can’t thank you enough,” Jeff Zewe, RN, president, chief executive officer, UAHS, Bradford Regional Medical Center, OGH, said.

“Olean is the most caring community. We always step up during a crisis. I would like to thank the Chauhdrys, Southern Tier Quilt Guild, Rose and Micki Orcutt and Olean General Hospital for this generous donation of face masks to the City of Olean. With a shortage of available protective masks, this donation will be used to protect our police officers and other city employees who have daily contact with the public,” Olean Mayor Bill Aiello, said.

For more information on the masks, contact the Chauhdrys at

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