Pratt Institute creates PPE for health care workers
The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn shifted gears after the pandemic closed its doors and found a way to create personal protective equipment for health care workers.
When the pandemic forced Pratt's doors to close and the students were sent home, staff members were driven to find a way to help out.
"We all felt so helpless and when there was even a glimmer of possibility, that we be able to use our skills, our time in any way that was helpful it was great, it was wonderful to be able to do that,” says Jess Osserman, a technician and visiting instructor at Pratt.
A limited number of faculty and staff were allowed back on campus to begin producing face shields using 3D printers, elastic and other materials as well as a large donation of PET, a type of plastic used to make water bottles.
"Even though we had all this sort of robotic technology at our fingertips...it was actually just a ton of hard work,” says Osserman.
They just sent out their final set of 2,500 face shields. They made a total of 15,000 that were donated to hospitals across Brooklyn, some to New Jersey and even to a senior center in Cobble Hill.
"To realize that the skills that I had developed could be quickly turned into a very useful tool for helping make protective equipment for front-line workers that felt really important, if felt really good,” says Osserman.
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Though this isn't something they expected to ever be doing, they say they'd love to network with other institutions to keep this work going.
"Was this something that we ever anticipated having to in turn deal with? Deep in my heart I knew Pratt could handle this,” says Richard Sarrach, Director of the Interdisciplinary Technology.