Pennsylvania Health Care Association and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Partner to Provide Long-Term Care Providers with 3D-Printed Face Shields
Harrisburg, PA (April 8, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology have partnered to provide long-term care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 epidemic with 3D-printed face shields amidst a statewide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Advanced Manufacturing Program at Harrisburg University has begun producing medical face shields to support health care workers fighting COVID-19. PHCA will distribute the face shields to caregivers in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living residences and personal care homes.
“At a time when our Department of Health is recommending universal, around-the-clock masking for health care providers, the supply of masks and face shields is running dangerously low,” said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. “But this partnership shows the true power of collaboration and innovation. Harrisburg University is taking an important and much-needed step to support our region’s caregivers in long-term care facilities who are risking it all to care for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents. We cannot thank the university enough.”
The medical face shields are printed using Harrisburg University’s Fortus 450 Stratasys 3D printer. Participants include Dr. Charles (Chip) A. Shearrow and advanced manufacturing students Charles A. Shearrow II and Matt Walters. The 3D models were supplied by Stratasys, who has formed a coalition of 3D-printer owners to produce these shields.
“In the midst of the immense challenges faced by all Pennsylvanians, we’re grateful to put to work the innovation of our university and faculty to supply more face shields and provide support to health care workers,” said Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. “With a severe shortage of protective personal equipment statewide, innovative solutions like these are critically necessary to support the caring healthcare professionals and their patients.”
The first batch of 3D-printed face shields will be used by long-term care workers at Juniper Village in Mount Joy and Providence Place Senior Living in Dover.
PHCA advocates for compassionate, quality, long-term care for Pennsylvania’s elderly and disabled residents, with more than 400 long-term care and senior service provider member organizations throughout the state.