The First 10,000 Swedish Shields
It took 4 weeks plus 1 day to reach the astonishing number of 10,000 shields distributed. We have donated to hospitals; the two main ones are Swedish Hospital, our partner and namesake, and Mt. Sinai, one of Chicago's trauma centers. We have donated to nursing homes, rehab and skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and palliative care clinics. Private ambulance companies and police, fire and EMT departments. Independent clinics and social service agencies. We've distributed to food pantries and pharmacies, eye doctors and dentists, to a rapid response team who was among the first to perform testing.
It all started with a tweet reported on cable news calling for 3D printers to help with the creation of PPE, which was in short supply. Once my son, Richie, found an open source design he liked, he continued to remix it until it fit our needs. We then reached out to Swedish Hospital through our friend, Jennifer, who suggested we solicit help from the 3D community through Facebook. A few days later, our design was approved by the hospital and we created one central fb group called 3D Printed Faceshields for Swedish. Swedish arranged press coverage for the effort and the tv and print exposure brought us more attention and credibility.
We are very happy with how things are now humming along. Printers are still donating and end users are still relieved to have our shields. Our fb group has become a community in itself. We have 500+ members and we keep in touch every day, with updates of our activities and member contributions to the hive mind. It is really central to the synergy that makes this work. Together we are more than the sum of our parts.