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Stony Brook University, hospital jump-start 3-D printers to manufacture hospital PPE

As New York is battling COVID-19, the potential shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital personnel and testing site staff has been thrust into the spotlight. Now, Stony Brook University’s iCREATE lab has stepped up to help, deploying its resources to manufacture face shields through the use of its 3-D printers. 

iCREATE, a program under the Division of Information Technology at Stony Brook University, supports innovative technologies within Stony Brook University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) to provide a hands-on environment of collaborative endeavors in order to spark creativity, innovation, and to ultimately redefine technological boundaries, engagement, creation, and innovation.

The face shields, explain Charlie McMahon, interim senior vice president and enterprise CIO for Stony Brook University, are medically compliant, as they have been reviewed by Stony Brook University Hospital personnel. 

Additionally, the team at iCREATE has designed certain parts of these face shields to be replaceable so that medical personnel can change them out, allowing for a more sanitized product. 

With current supplies, iCREATE is intending to make 800 face shields, and is currently in the process of procuring enough supplies to make up to 5,000 products. 

“We are doing something positive to protect the health of the medical professionals that are helping the community. Being able to be a part of keeping our medical professionals safer is a really good feeling,” McMahon says. 

Also, Bettina Fries, chief of infectious disease at Stony Brook Medicine reached out to her neighbor, Agjah Libohova, who is the director of research and development and engineer of a local Suffolk plastics production company and told him that we need alternate supplies of face shields. She gave him her face shield and that night he made the first prototype. Today, we learned that the production is to start this week; Stony Brook is the first client.

“These face shields will make us feel safer and show that Stony Brook tries everything to keep health care professionals on the front line safe,” Dr. Fries added.

Video credit: Stony Brook University/Dennis Murray