South Florida Hospital News
Saturday October 31, 2020
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October 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 4
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FIU 3D-printing face shields for healthcare workers at Baptist Health

 
March 30, 2020 - In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic, Florida International University (FIU) and Baptist Health South Florida are partnering to 3D-print reusable face shields. The first batch of face shields was delivered on Saturday.
 
Face shields are part of the personal protective equipment that healthcare workers at Baptist Health wear when caring for patients who have or are suspected to have COVID-19.  Baptist Health has 11 hospitals and more than 150 urgent care centers and physician offices in the four-county area from Monroe to Palm Beach counties.
 
FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture, + The Arts (CARTA) is at the center of the initiative, mobilizing its 3D printing facilities, faculty, staff and students to produce a minimum of 1,000 face shields for Baptist Health. More than 30 3D printers housed in the college’s CARTA Innovation Lab in the Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) are printing the protective equipment, as well as additional printers in the CARTA Robotics and Digital Fabrication Laboratory  and the College of Engineering & Computing.
 
“As a university we wanted to find a way to leverage the skills, talent and resources of our students, faculty and staff to help these hard-working heroes who are risking their lives to save ours,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “I’m proud of our collaboration with Baptist Health and hope it will pave the way for more opportunities to make a difference during these difficult times.”
 
Architecture students working from home modified an open-source design for the face shields, which were then emailed to CARTA staff to print at home. The first printing of the prototype shields began on Saturday, March 21, just one day after the idea was presented to the staff and students. Students worked with Baptist Health leaders to ensure the specifications of the face shields were appropriate for patient care.
 
The face shields, made from non-toxic PLA (polylactic acid), are meant to act as a first line of defense for healthcare workers. With the shortage of masks, the shield is worn over the mask to preserve their longevity as well as prevent infected respiratory droplets from entering workers’ nose and eyes.
 
The shields are being sent to Baptist Health South Florida for use in their hospitals.
 
"Out of adversity creates opportunity," said Dr. Barry T. Katzen, founder and medical director of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, who has long been a leader in innovation at Baptist Health. “This partnership with FIU is community collaboration at its best, bringing together an academic institution and a healthcare system by using innovation during a time of urgent need.”
 
The FIU team that includes Brian Schriner, dean of CARTA; and Bridget Pelaez, assistant director of FIU’s Department of Emergency Management; collaborated with Baptist Health on the idea and design. Others involved include John Stuart, CARTA associate dean of cultural and community engagement and executive director, MBUS; Colette Mello, senior special events manager, MBUS; Jacqueline Thompson, program manager, MBUS; and students Brett Serfozo, Raymond Reina and Diana Vazquez, all of whom are pursuing master’s degrees in architecture.
 
 “I am extremely proud of our colleagues’ creative problem-solving expertise and their unyielding commitment to the safety and well-being of our community each and every day,” Schriner said.   
 
 
 
 
About Baptist Health South Florida:
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
 
About FIU:
Florida International University is Miami’s public research university, focused on student success. According to U.S. News and World Report, FIU has 42 top-50 rankings in the nation among public universities. FIU is a top U.S. research university (R1), with more than $200 million in annual expenditures. FIU ranks 15th in the nation among public universities for patent production, which drives innovation, and is one of the institutions that helps make Florida the top state for higher education. The Next Horizon fundraising campaign is furthering FIU’s commitment to providing students Worlds Ahead opportunities. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers, and supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA, with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. The university has awarded more than 330,000 degrees to many leaders in South Florida and beyond. For more information about FIU, visit www.fiu.edu.
 
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