CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Despite the absence of in-person classes and students learning remotely for the rest of the semester, faculty at one Missouri university is staying busy with a real-world lesson in engineering help for the local health care community.
Faculty and staff at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau have been using 3D printers and laser cutters to design personal protective equipment, such as face shields and protective visors, for local hospitals. SEMO is using existing supplies and materials it had on hand to manufacture the equipment and has not sought external donations, according to spokeswoman Ann Hayes.
The university recognized the community’s need and went to work designing a prototype, which was delivered to local hospitals March 27, she said. Since then, the school delivered about 220 face shields to Southeast Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center. Another batch of equipment has been given to the local fire department.
“We knew there was a need, so we reached out to the hospitals, they confirmed the demand and with the encouragement and support of university President Carlos Vargas, we proceeded accordingly,” said Chris Martin, chief of staff. “We all have a responsibility to help fight this unprecedented pandemic, and we felt this was one small way in which we could support our local community.”
Officials have plans to ramp up production over the coming weeks as the university reaches out to other first responders in the area about their equipment needs. About six staff members are working in shifts to produce the equipment, Hayes said.
Click here for the full story.
More Coronavirus Coverage
- Coronavirus live updates: Comedian Ali Wentworth positive; British Open may be canceled
- 'PPE for STL' | Facebook group collecting PPE donations for health care providers
- Gov. Parson cuts spending as virus hits Missouri economy
- No, your kids aren't going to get held back due to coronavirus changes
- Everything we know about coronavirus in the St. Louis area