Closing the Gap in PPE

The Great Lakes Bay Region had no shortage of heart as businesses and residents rose to the challenge with an inventive way to help decrease the gap in personal protective equipment using 3D printers to manufacture parts to protect frontline health care workers from COVID-19.

John Furcean, who teaches computer programming for the summer research experience at Michigan State University St. Andrews in Midland, was among the innovators with heart who stepped up to the challenge. Furcean created headbands and reinforcements for face masks from his home 3D printer and credited staff members Troy Terwillegar and Ivan Lysenko for supervising PPE production in Midland.

“If what we did saved one life or lowered the risk for a health care worker, it was worth our time.” Furcean said.

Dow Chemical Co. also answered the call with equipment and employees who laser-cut, assembled and donated face shields to the state of Michigan for distribution to hospitals. They also partnered with Michigan-based tinkrLAB, which has been involved in a major 3D printing effort to create additional PPE supplies for health care workers.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Team Dow as we continue to respond to the needs of our colleagues, customers, suppliers, community and government partners, and so many others,” Dow Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling said in his blog. “Team Dow continues to find new ways to serve our stakeholders despite the challenges surrounding us.”

From Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw and Saginaw Valley State University to the Chippewas of Central Michigan University and countless businesses and residents across the region, the Great Lakes Bay Region proudly stepped up to meet the COVID-19 challenge head on.