COVID-19 hot spots across the nation are receiving 6,000 3D-printed face shields to protect the healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals responsible for managing and maintaining critical medical devices and equipment, such as ventilators.
Distributed by AAMI, the first shipment of face shields is planned to arrive in Hagerstown, Md., via volunteer flight organization AeroBridge on Thursday, June 11. The 2,000 face shields will then be distributed to several organizations in need of personal protective equipment (PPE), including those in Boston; Hartford and New Haven, Conn; Flint, Mich; Bethesda, Md.; and Chandler, Ariz. Additional shipments of face shields are planned for Newark, N.J., and Lawrenceville, Ga.
“While HTM professionals often work behind the scenes to repair, maintain, and manage medical equipment and technology, their expertise is front and center during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important that we protect the health of these essential workers by getting them the PPE that they need to do their jobs,” says Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM at AAMI, who arranged the donation with Robert Burroughs, vice president of education, and Bradley Schoener, vice president of innovation. “Thank you to everyone who has donated their time, expertise, and materials to make this effort possible.”
AAMI secured the PPE donation from Response4Life, a nonprofit working to distribute medical equipment in times of need, and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Maker Nexus, which rallied more than 600 makers idled by COVID-19 to produce PPE using their personal 3D printers, laser cutters, and sewing capabilities.
“I am honored and proud to be part of this effort to help HTM workers,” says Don Landwirth, a board member of Maker Nexus. “I have been amazed at the generosity of thousands of people to pay for, make, and distribute our face shields. Everything is sent as a thank you to the dedicated HTM and healthcare workers around the U.S., and we hope these will help, in part, to keep them all a little safer.”
So far, their effort has delivered more than 42,000 face shields. Along with Salesforce.com, Response4Life has developed an efficient, low-friction supply chain to mobilize the maker community and small manufacturers to deliver PPE and supplies to where they’re needed.
Led by founder Rick Brennan, Boulder, Colo.-based Response4Life has also formed partnerships with other nonprofits to help move medical supplies around the county, including AeroBridge.org, which finds pilots to volunteer their planes, fuel, and time to fly medical supplies, and GetUsPPE.org, which rallies medical students to pick up supplies and deliver them to hospitals and other healthcare facilities in need.