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College helps produce more than 600 face shields in fight against COVID-19

Georgian College says they intend to help companies coordinate with RVH as new needs arise
Andrew Cywink, a research and innovation technologist at Georgian College, wears one of the single-use face shields he helped create using fabrication equipment in the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization, located within Georgian’s Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre. Over 600 face shields were donated to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie. Photo supplied by Georgian College

Georgian College has heeded the call from health-care partners across our communities by donating critical supplies and using the skills of our Research and Innovation team to manufacture temporary face shields. With Georgian’s Health and Wellness programs being delivered through remote delivery, the college has been redeploying personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to our health partners.

“We’ve mobilized a phenomenal team effort across the college to collect the PPE supplies we are not currently using, including gloves, masks and gowns,” said Fay Lim-Lambie, Dean, Health, Wellness and Sciences. “As a result, more than 105,000 individual PPEs will benefit health partners in need – including hospitals and long-term care facilities.”

Georgian’s Research and Innovation team also saw an opportunity to use innovative technology to meet the need for temporary face shields for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie until new PPEs can be mass produced. Two local manufacturers – Innovative Automation and Molded Precision Components – are also re-tooling their operations to start production of PPEs.

Production of more than 600 face shields took place this week with the help of Research and Innovation Technologist Andrew Cywink and Jared Bergsma, a Mechanical Engineering Technology student, who was able to help remotely on the project. Bergsma is doing his co-op in the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization (C-RIC), located within Georgian’s Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre.

“Our friends at Georgian College were one of the first to respond to our request for PPE, jumping in enthusiastically to lend support in this challenging time,” said RVH Foundation CEO, Eric Dean, whose team is spearheading community donations and PPE collections. “RVH and Georgian College have a long-standing partnership on many initiatives and this latest collaboration further demonstrates this remarkable relationship. We are incredibly grateful for their support in this unprecedented time.”

“Going forward, we intend to help companies co-ordinate with RVH as new needs arise,” said Mira Ray, Director, Research and Innovation at Georgian. “We can also be on call to produce short-run items that the hospital or any medical clinic, health-care provider, or essential service the health-care sector needs.” To help with this effort, Georgian is looking for donations of raw materials, such as PET or PETg (a polyester film made from polyethylene terephthalate) that could be used to manufacture more face shields. If any companies would like to donate, they can reach out to [email protected].