Home Uncategorized Loyalist faculty make face shields for local COVID-19 workers

Loyalist faculty make face shields for local COVID-19 workers

April 02, 2020
When Jeremy and Suzanne Braithwaite learned of a global face shield shortage impacting the Bay of Quinte region, they combined their skills and developed a prototype that could be made locally to protect health care professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Both Jeremy and Suzanne are Loyalist graduates and faculty at the College. Jeremy teaches in the School of Applied Science, Skills and Technology, and supports the College’s Weston Family Scholarship in the Skilled Trades. Suzanne is the coordinator of the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

“We need to do everything we can to protect nurses, doctors and emergency services workers because they’re doing everything in their power to protect us,” said Jeremy. “They are protecting our community and without personal protective equipment they place themselves, and the community, at risk. Manufacturing face shields for local health care providers is an honour.”

Jeremy and Suzanne presented Quinte Health Care (QHC) with a few prototypes on March 31 to see which version best suited their needs. 

The design of the face shield is important as it prevents droplets from spreading to the health care professional,” said Suzanne. “It’s a protective barrier which also stops them from touching their faces. It’s essential for infection control.”

With Suzanne’s nursing background and Jeremy’s manufacturing experience, they knew they had the combined expertise to truly make a difference.

“For Jeremy and me, the frontline health care providers are at the centre of this initiative,” she said. “Our intention is to support them, and this is the best way we know how to do that. This is our way to say thank you, and we will continue to focus our efforts in this direction. It’s the least we can do.”

The QHC-approved prototype the Braithwaites developed is similar to the face shields currently used at local hospitals. They’re made from pipe wrap, laminated sheets, elastic, and take approximately three minutes to produce. They can also be sanitized for reuse if required. With support from community donors, Jeremy estimates that their family will be producing hundreds of face shields a week, depending on the quantity required by local health care agencies. The Braithwaites delivered 500 face shields to QHC on April 1 and are eagerly working with the community to produce and deliver more in the coming weeks.

“Finding creative solutions to solve local problems saves lives,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO. “It’s remarkable what Jeremy and Suzanne have achieved by combining their skills to meet QHC’s needs. We are very proud of them and all of our faculty, staff, students and graduates who are providing support when and where needed.”