SAN JACINTO – Mt. San Jacinto College has teamed up with OnTrac to deliver 3D-printed face shields to regional hospitals to support front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OnTrac, a parcel delivery service, has provided its services for free to benefit the hospitals and health care professionals during the health crisis.
“The proportions of this challenge are daunting, but keeping doctors, nurses, and all other professionals as safe as possible is the goal. I’m glad we can do our part,” Hal Edghill, who operates MSJC’s Eagle MakerSpace, said.
MSJC is using 3D printers in the Eagle MakerSpace on its Menifee Valley Campus to manufacture the face shields, which serve as extra protection covering the masks that health care workers wear in the hospitals.
OnTrac delivered the first 100 face shields to Temecula Valley Hospital Wednesday, April 29, and another 100 to Menifee Global Medical Center Friday, May 1.
Additional local hospitals requesting the shields from MSJC include Hemet Global Medical Center, Providence Health and Riverside Community Hospital. The MakerSpace continues to manufacture the face shields to meet the demand and support the hospital partners.
The Eagle MakerSpace features 3D printers and a laser cutter that students use throughout the academic year to create various projects at MSJC. It’s funded by the California Strong Workforce Program, which is designed to spur Career Education in the California Community Colleges system in order to increase social mobility and fuel regional economies with skilled workers.
The college, which has a robust Allied Health program, has also donated gurneys, N95 masks, non-N95 masks, nitrile gloves and other equipment that are in high-demand to protect medical professionals during the crisis. Many of the college’s nursing program students have volunteered at COVID-19 testing sites throughout Riverside County over the past two months.
“We were honored to be able to help our medical partners who indicated they had a need for these types of items,” Joyce Johnson, MSJC’s executive dean of instruction and a registered nurse, said. “The school closures mean our students cannot use this equipment at this time. We wanted to make sure we did our part to help protect medical professionals and patients alike during this pandemic.”
To make the face shields, the MakerSpace uses polylactic acid plastic in MakerBot 3D printers to build the visor component, Edghill said. The face shield is made from commercially available transparency sheets that instructors have more commonly used with overhead projectors. The connector at the back of the visor is a No. 33 rubber band.
For less than a dollar, residents can save a life. To help contribute to MSJC’s efforts during the coronavirus crisis, whether monetarily or through supply donations, visit http://www.msjc.edu/foundation.
Submitted by Mt. San Jacinto College.