It’s no secret that medical staff have a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at hospitals both globally and nation-wide during the COVID-19 outbreak. So, when Endicott College nursing alumna Victoria Baxter BSN '15 FNP '18, an ER Nurse at Beverly Hospital contacted Endicott School of Nursing Dean Nancy Meedzan, DNP, RN, CNE, to discuss the hospital’s severe shortage, she sprang into action. Meedzan took inventory of Endicott’s PPE supplies and organized a delivery to Beverly Hospital. Fifty boxes of gloves, around 400 N95 masks, and more than two dozen bottles of Purell were donated.
Endicott’s Assistant Athletic Director James Daley connected with Head Athletic Trainer, Abbey Cahill, to review PPE inventory in the athletic training rooms at the Post Sport Science & Fitness Center and the Raymond J. Bourque Arena. Daley and Cahill were able to find more than 50 boxes of nitrile gloves, a variety of sanitizing sprays and wipes, disposable gowns, shoe covers, surgical caps, and an additional 25 N95 masks that were donated. Medical professionals are taking care of those in need, caring for patients with COVID-19, and are unable to adequately protect themselves with the lack of PPE available.
Gloves, N95 masks, and Purell assembled for donation.“These drastic times demand the response of colleagues and everyone in the community who can do their part to help,” says Meedzan. “We’re glad we could help Beverly Hospital and wish we could help others. We’ll continue to do what we can for the community as we navigate this difficult period,” she says.
Adjunct Professor Lori Mitchener, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Engineering Jessica Ventura, Ph.D., and Science Lab Coordinator/Instructor Christine Harvey-Cronin, have been hard at work utilizing 3D printers in Endicott’s Makerspace located in the Curtis L. Gerrish School of Business & Ginger Judge Science Center. The Makerspace is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology including 3D printing and scanning equipment, microcontrollers, sensors, and computers with design software. Ventura and Harvey-Cronin are printing face shields and masks and delivering them to pediatricians, funeral homes, and oncology departments to lessen their use of the non-homemade versions, allowing more inventory for hospitals. Currently, Massachusetts hospitals are not accepting homemade PPE. The type of mask created in the Makerspace plays a critical role in stretching supplies, as it uses a piece of an N95 mask as a filter. One N95 mask is cut into six pieces, and each piece serves as a filter that is placed into the 3D mask. As of March 30, they have printed and donated 12 face masks and 10 face shields.
“I am finding that those who are not on the frontlines in the COVID-19 fight, but who continue to have human contact such as oncologists, radiation clinics, and funeral home employees are the ones that need the supplies we are printing. They are trying to make their PPE last as long as possible and with our donations they are able to do that, and then give extras that are not homemade to medical professionals who may need them more,” says Ventura.