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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:
“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:
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By Dr. Cathleen Greiner, Business & Entrepreneurship Regional Director, Orange County
So, what are some of the Community College Maker Spaces doing in the Age of CV19? In addition to making face masks, PPE, and a breadth of projects, Orange Coast College (OCC) is focusing on some key projects and producing resources useful to nearby businesses and health care facilities:
Let’s start with the “NO-TOUCH KEY FOB:”
How do the key fobs work and who are they for?
The "No-Touch" Keys are 3D printed designs sourced from Thingiverse.com and modified by OCC Makerspace. They essentially allow someone to touch, push/pull, flip on/off, and open things you'd normally touch with your fingers or hands. To date, the OCC team has 3D printed over 300 "No-Touch" Keys using 6 of the Ultimaker 3D printers. Once the Makerspace was approved to engage in low-production PPE design & fabrication, Professor Steve Fuchs kept one of the printers running day and night, as it was approved to be moved remotely. MORE to come when students and faculty have access to the file and/or pre-printed keys, when OCC opens back up.
And, Face Masks: Who is allowed to design face masks? Can students submit face masks designs or ideas?
OCC Makerspace's PPE production is certainly a collaborative effort between Professor Steve Fuchs (the OCC Makerspace Co-Founder & Professor of Architecture), Garret Hill (Makerspace Coordinator), Daniel Shrader (Technology Dean), Kevin Ballinger (VP of Instruction), Angelica Suarez (President), and Lisa Knuppel (CTE Dean). Garret (a former OCC student who has gone on to gain a degree and return to coordinate the Makerspace) has worked extensively on refining the current mask design, sourcing multiple patterns, and seeking guidance from OCC Fashion professors. Seriously, here is the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org for design submittals and any stories students, faculty, or staff want to share about their own PPE production at home.
OCC Makerspace team believes it is important for OCC to use no touch key fobs even after Governor Newsom says it’s okay to open up schools. Why?
It's important to assess individual vulnerability with a medical professional and using the health resources OCC provides to all students, faculty, and staff. That said, all of us can benefit from being aware about touching high-use items like buttons, switches, elevators, door handles, keypads, keyboards, and screens. It's also important to not touch your face, eyes, ears, or mouth with your hands, especially after touching high-use items. The no-touch key fobs will be a big help.