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Aspen Public Radio’s reporting project Rocky Mountain Why? starts with what you’re curious about when it comes to life in the Roaring Fork Valley.Why was Aspen nicknamed Fat City? Is it true that the Roaring Fork Valley produces more potatoes than Idaho? Our news team does the digging, then shares the answers with our community.What are you curious about? Submit your question here.

Rocky Mountain Why: Want To Help Local Hospitals During The COVID-19 Pandemic? Here's How.

Courtesy of Valley View Hospital

Listener Jody Guralnick said she has a sewing machine and asked if there’s a way to help make protective clothing and masks for local hospitals. Below are some ways you can help Aspen Valley Hospital in Aspen and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

For full details on how to help Aspen Valley Hospital, click here.

For full details on how to help Valley View Hospital, click here.

Can I donate homemade masks?

Aspen Valley Hospital is accepting donations of homemade masks that follow strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. For more information on those requirements, call the hospital's foundation office at 970-544-1302. 

Those masks are not used for patients and doctors; instead, they're given to visitors and administrative staff. About 500 of those masks have been donated, and about 50 have been used.

For healthcare workers, hospitals are looking for medical-grade personal protective equipment. But, it couldn’t hurt to make masks for yourself and other people in the community. It’s mandatory to keep your face covered in Glenwood Springs and on RFTA buses. Monday, Pitkin County advised residents to wear face coverings.

What kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) can I donate?

Aspen Valley Hospital is accepting donations of N95 masks in original, factory-sealed packages.

Valley View Hospital is accepting the following kinds of PPE, all of which must be commercially-produced and unused:

  • Eye protection and goggles
  • Face shields
  • Surgical masks
  • N95 masks
  • Sterile and non-sterile gloves (no latex)
  • Disposable gowns
  • Biohazard bags

Can I donate money?

Yes, both hospitals are asking for monetary donations. Valley View hospital says those kinds of donations give them the greatest amount of flexibility.


Aspen Valley Hospital has an emergency response fund.

Valley View Hospital has a fund specifically for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Can I volunteer my time?


If you’re a qualified medical professional with current certifications, Aspen Valley Hospital is building a roster of backup healthcare workers should their own staff need help during a surge. Those who qualify can volunteer by contacting bpatera@aspenhospital.org.

Valley View Hospital is collecting letters and notes of encouragement for their frontline staff, which they say helps brighten the day of healthcare workers. Those notes can be sent to foundation@vvh.org.

How else can I help frontline staff?

Both hospitals are accepting food donations for staff. 

To donate food to Aspen Valley Hospital, make a monetary donation and note that you want your money to be used for “Feeding the Frontlines.”

To donate food to Valley View Hospital, arrange delivery from a local restaurant. The hospital is asking that meals feed at least 45 people so nobody is left out.

What’s the best thing I can do to help hospitals?

Both hospitals said the number one way to help out is to follow public health orders and stay at home. Slowing the spread of the disease will help prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

This story is part of Aspen Public Radio’s series Rocky Mountain Why. If you have something you're wondering about coronavirus in the Roaring Fork Valley, send it to news@aspenpublicradio.


Alex is KUNC's reporter covering the Colorado River Basin. He spent two years at Aspen Public Radio, mainly reporting on the resort economy, the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, he covered the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.