COVID-19 Information

Dartmouth Alumni in China Donate 50,000 Masks to DHMC

April 17, 2020

By Julie Bonette

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) received a donation of 50,000 medical face masks last week, thanks in large part to a group of Dartmouth alumni in China.

The alumni are employees of Wuhan Xiaoyaoyao Pharmaceutical Technology Co., Ltd., also known as Xiaoyaoyao and Yao Inno, one of China’s leading health-technology companies founded five years ago in Wuhan. Having witnessed the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the alumni wanted to help others in any way they could. 

“We are called to lead and help,” said Junfei Yu Th'19, who earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Dartmouth's Thayer School and then stayed to work alongside engineering professors Sol Diamond and Doug Van Citters as a Cook Engineering Design Center Fellow.

Dingyang Lu ’17 and Junfei Yu Th'19 stand with the boxes of masks
Dingyang Lu ’17 and Junfei Yu Th'19 stand with the shipment bound for DHMC. 

Yu and his teammate Dingyang Lu ’17, both managers for the international department of the company, sourced 50,000 type II disposable surgical masks from across China before shipping them to Shanghai, where their team performed a final check and labeled the boxes with Dartmouth’s logo and motto, “Vox Clamantis in Deserto.” The masks were then flown to Hanover, New Hampshire. 

“This substantial donation helped supplement our PPE stock at a time when we needed it most.”

“Equipping our staff with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial in the fight against COVID-19 and accessing supply has been challenging. These masks will be deployed to our healthcare providers who are working tirelessly to keep our patients and community safe,” said Curtis Lancaster, Vice President of Supply Chain at DHMC. “This substantial donation helped supplement our PPE stock at a time when we needed it most.”

Sign with Dartmouth's motto on one of the boxes

Yu and Lu were supported in their efforts by the company’s Dartmouth alumni group, which includes co-founder Yi Peng ’12 and Tuck alumni.

“We feel it is the time to give back to the Dartmouth community because of the current severe situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Yu, who is also a TuckLAB alumnus. “I am deeply connected with Thayer and Tuck, as I wouldn’t be where I am now without my education at both schools.”

Since the outbreak, Xiaoyaoyao has delivered more than 200 million masks and other medical supplies across China.