May. 4, 2020
CWU Produces Needed Personal Protective Equipment for Kittitas Valley Healthcare
Central Washington University’s student Public Health Club has taken a significant role in providing some needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the necessity of some specific equipment, and a corresponding shortage of it, the CWU club is assembling transparent protective face shields and special plastic filament that the university’s 3D printers need to produce headbands. The finished products help secure the shields, allowing them to be safely used by health care workers.
“We had club funds that we were not going to be able to use during spring quarter because of the change to online instruction,” said Alberto Saldana, a senior Public Health major from Wapato and a Public Health Club member. “When we heard there was a shortage of PPE, we thought this would be a good way to use that money to give back to the community.”
Tishra Beeson, program coordinator for CWU’s Master of Public Health program and the Public Health Club’s advisor, added, “The National Institutes of Health made a resource available for 3D print designs that included the face shields we chose. We liked that this design met review standards in clinical settings already and complied with the federal emergency authorization guidelines.”
Three campus 3D printers are now in production mode, one in the Department of Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction; two others from the university’s Multimodal Education Center.
Every week, the newly fabricated headwear is dropped off to Beeson, who then assembles—in her garage—the separate parts into functional units, which are then delivered to KVH. Anna Scarlett, KVH clinical informatics analyst, has appreciated the help.
“As the main person in the trenches working with the staff who are most concerned about their personal protective equipment, it’s been a huge blessing to have these face shields,” she said. “And to know there are more coming is great.”
Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu