About CoverAid PHL


CoverAid PHL is an open community dedicated to coordinating supply chains and innovations to support personal protective equipment needs of professional health care in the Philadelphia region during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Story Behind CoverAid PHL

Coming together to form this initiative started as a swift response to protecting our healthcare workers during the overwhelming threat (and lack of supplies) from the Corona Virus Pandemic. But to our surprise, the work and collaboration has also become a positive & productive way to cope and empower it’s organizers during uncertain times

CoverAid PHL started with a few quick phone calls that turned into collaborative action. When Mel Baiada (Board Member, BAYADA Home Health Care) reached out to  Kendra Brill (DeSimone Group Investments, CHAR-COAL Apparel), his goal was to fill in some local manufacturing contacts for an initiative he had already put to paper — to make protective masks for local healthcare workers. A phone call ensued, and so did a conversation about another informal outreach from a regional hospital system, as well as a key conversation with John Venafro, a local expert and friend in Philadelphia manufacturing. John happened to specialize in military/police/fire protective equipment manufactured right here in Philadelphia, so John was on board.  Realizing that we need to consider other innovations and community leaders, Evan Malone, Founder of NextFab was bolted on with his cohort with Tony Sacksteder, Project Development Consultant, and the first formal call occurred within 24 hours of Mel’s first outreach, on Friday March 20, 2020.. 

 But, as all good organizations who are trying to help a region, we needed to connect to the city and be sure we were not replicating good efforts in play. Through his contacts with the city, Evan Malone and the team became aware of an initiative with Elissa Bloom, the Director of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. Elissa was tasked by the city to corral local sewers, designers and factories to assist with creating masks for healthcare workers. Elissa was pulled in, and the total team was formed.  

It’s interesting how people from different professions and networks can come together to make something happen in such a short time, but it’s even more interesting what a ‘small, big city’ Philadelphia is when you want to make something happen.


  • Masks and Respirators are our first priority
    • We are actively working to find sources of existing masks and match them with buyers.
    • We are standing up a regional supply chain to develop, vet, and manufacture procedure masks using a combination of factory-scale and distributed small-scale production 
    • We are handling mask design and material selection, finding cutters and sewers and the logistics to fill orders placed by health care organizations
  • Other PPE and ventilators will follow
  • Stakeholders and contributors are collaborating online via Slack
  • A website is forthcoming to communicate updates and provide guidance for parties needing resources and those looking to participate
Core Values
  • Open Source – You agree to share relevant, non-confidential information that may be of assistance to others in the community.
  • Professional Health Care Focus – You agree not to divert resources obtained here from the needs of professional health care organizations and providers.
  • Regional Focus – CoverAid PHL is intending to serve the material needs of the Philadelphia region. You agree to not divert material resources within the region to needs outside of the region unless / until the region’s critical needs are met. We encourage emulation of the CoverAid model, and you are welcome to share ideas and information beyond the Philadelphia region.
  • No Hoarding – You agree to procure only what your organization requires and to not stockpile to the detriment of other regional organizations in need.
  • No Scalping – You agree to not purchase from a vendor with the intent to sell to a buyer that could otherwise be directly served by that vendor.
  • No Gouging – If you are selling products or services, you agree to limit your gross margin

Founding Organizers

General Inquiries

Press Inquiries