Sectors and Regions Join Forces to Create PPE for Healthcare Workers

More than 7,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been donated to front-line healthcare workers across California, thanks to a combined effort by the Business & Entrepreneurship, Advanced Transportation, and Health Workforce Initiative sectors across the state.

Business & Entrepreneurship Regional Directors Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy from the Inland Empire/Desert Region and Micah Merrick from the Bay Region organized a network of colleges using their makerspaces to create PPE using 3D printers. They received support and guidance from John Cordova, Statewide Director of the Health Workforce Initiative, and Larry McLaughlin, ATL Regional Director in the Inland Empire/Desert Region.

Merrick worked with two manufacturers of face shields to obtain their open-source design files that were approved by hospital infectious control directors. Cordova and the Health Workforce Initiative Regional Directors provided information on where the shields were needed most. McLaughlin and the ATL team worked with OnTrac Transportation to facilitate next-day delivery to healthcare facilities at no cost.

The printed parts for the face shields and comfort straps are boxed and delivered to medical facilities, where they are disinfected and assembled before being put into use. Each shield costs about $1 to make.

As of late April, PPE delivered by region included:

  • Bay Area: 3,375 face shields; 700 comfort straps
  • South Central Coast: 450 face shields
  • San Diego: 494 face shields; 250 comfort straps
  • Inland Empire/Desert: 1,988 face shields; 40 comfort straps
  • Los Angeles/Orange County: 122 face shields

“We have been working with industry partners to get donations of funding, equipment, and supplies to assist with this endeavor. College Foundations are setting up accounts to take donations and release funding to the colleges for necessary supplies,” Kiplinger-Kennedy said. “This project demonstrates the commitment from the Chancellor’s Office to employer engagement with health care, manufacturing, technologies, and supply chain partners, as well as cross-sector collaboration to find innovative ways to solve problems, especially during a time of national crises.”

Kiplinger-Kennedy also created a Facebook donation page to raise funds for this project:

Sectors and Regions Join Forces to Create PPE for Healthcare Workers