ASUMH teams up with physician and others to create PPE Shields
CHRISTY KEIRN | APRIL 17, 2020
A need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in Mountain Home, Arkansas, led local physician, Dr. Allison Booth, along with Arkansas State University-Mountain Home’s Chancellor Dr. Robin Myers and Machining Instructor Aaron Fouraker to collaborate on a project called Mountain Home Face Protection for Healthcare. The trio has been researching ways to create shields and has landed on a design that anyone with a 3D printer can make.
“Our goal is to connect people who have 3D printers and can make face shields with the healthcare workers who need them,” said Booth. “We are hoping to recruit any community members with 3D printers to help us produce the plastic part of the face shield.” More than 70 shields have been produced so far.
Booth and Fouraker researched open-source designs and tried various models before deciding which equipment was most needed in the hospitals and would be easy to mass-produce. While Baxter Regional Medical Center, first responders, and other healthcare workers are the designated recipient of these masks, Booth says nursing homes and others can request shields but the group cannot promise availability at this time. In addition, Booth said that funds were being raised to help with the cost of materials.
“Many community members are producing shields already, so we hope to connect them with the healthcare workers,” added Booth. While the shields are an excellent project for anyone who would like to fight this pandemic, Booth says the makers cannot claim that these are medical-grade or guarantee anything will prevent coronavirus.
Anyone who would like to participate in this project can join the Facebook group. “Mountain Home Face Protection for Healthcare” or donate to the Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation, c/o MHFaceProtectionforHealthcare, 624 Hospital Drive, Mountain Home, AR 72653. Funds are being raised through the BRMC Foundation and all donations will be tax-deductible. This money will go toward the purchase of 3D printer materials which are then dispensed to the community members printing shields. All face shields are free to the recipients.
A dropbox for completed bands is located outside Roller Hall on the campus of Arkansas State University-Mountain Home in the portico. Donation forms are available at the dropbox. For more information, send a message through the messaging available on Facebook to Dr. Booth or other administrators of the page or call (870) 508-6109.