As the number of coronavirus hospitalizations increases, personal protection equipment (PPE) is becoming increasingly sparse. To replenish supplies, students and alumni in the Wharton community are finding ways beyond social distancing to help doctors and nurses on the front lines.
Pivoting to PPE
Michael Wong, W’19, Tiffany Yau, C’18, SPP’19, Evan Weinstein, E’19, and John Gamba, C’92, are working together to make thousands of face shields for Philadelphia’s healthcare workers. Wong’s startup, InstaHub, is leveraging its 3D printer farm, Weinstein’s Cocoa Press is donating filaments, Yau’s nonprofit, Fulphil, is providing tax-deductible donations, and Gamba is supporting the initiative as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). They have been working around the clock to produce hundreds of face shields a day, with a 25,000 donation goal over the next 4-6 weeks.
“I think we can definitely do it as a community — fulfill all of Penn Hospital’s needs and a lot of other hospitals that lack resources,” Michael said. “We really do care about the hospitals that serve underserved populations and might be under-resourced.”
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This is what the frontlines of healthcare looks like. Thank you @jeffersonhealth for letting us coordinate with the Covid task force team leader @jeffsall in surprising his team of nurses with Cloves as they got ready for their shift. Last night, we took stock of all inventory in our office around the corner so we could gift them right before they started testing patients this morning at 8. Cloves are easy to wipe down (with the same disinfectant wipes they use on the job), which is so important now more than ever. Our goal was to keep these healthcare pros protected (and comfortable) for their long shifts ahead. This is just the first step. Watch our stories to see how the morning unfolded.👆🏽💙
VIP-X startup Clove, a company that makes shoes designed for healthcare workers, is donating their products to nurses and doctors at hospitals in Philadelphia. Led by CEO Joe Ammon WG’19, the company surprises healthcare workers on the job with shoes and compression socks.
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Disc Makers, led by Tony van Veen, WG’87, is shifting from printing CDs to making face shields for doctors and nurses.
Calling on Creatives
Executive Producer of Maestro Filmworks, Kris Mendoza, WG’19, leads the Behind the Masks project — an initiative that calls on the creative community to sew masks at home to help alleviate the PPE shortage. The website provides a toolkit of videos and information with the goal of one million mask donations.
Lauren Gao, W’18, is working with a team of volunteers to tackle the PPE shortage via open-source 3D printing. Users can download MyMask and use their phone camera to design a mask personalized to fit their face. Then, this printable model can be sent to a 3D printer.
Translating the Latest Insights
Cecilia Wang, W’21, is supporting the global COVID-19 response through information and knowledge distribution. She is translating 700 publications from Chinese Medical Journals on COVID-19 with COVID-19 INFO AID, a nonprofit founded by Chinese volunteers, to drive essential insights about the virus.
The Wharton MBA Program for Executives 44th class has come together to accept and distribute PPE donations from both U.S. coasts to hospitals in desperate need of supplies. Their fundraising campaign seeks to raise $15,000 for the donation efforts. The Class has also donated 3M 7000 masks after discovering that they block more particulates than N95 masks. So far they have been approved for use and distributed to various health systems across Pittsburgh.
Yiwen Li, W’21, C’21, Aris Saxena, W’21, and Eash Aggarwal, C’21, are adapting their startup, MobilityHealth.io, to aid under-resourced communities during the pandemic. “Mobility’s Coronavirus Response” is a delivery system that provides essential supplies such as masks, medicine, and other necessities to the at-risk community through Contactless Delivery.
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— Erin Lomboy
Posted: April 10, 2020