A Grassroots Effort to Narrow the PPE Shortage in Metro Atlanta

by | Apr 22, 2020 | Uncategorized

As COVID-19 hits communities throughout Georgia, we can all do our part to help protect our health care workers on the front lines.

Sizemore Group has joined a grassroots effort to help narrow the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in our state’s hospital systems. The firm is using its 3D printer to produce face masks that have been donated to health care providers in metro Atlanta.

Tulia Scott, Sizemore Group’s director of architecture was contacted by Travis N. Pruitt, an engineer with Travis Pruitt & Associates, Inc. Travis recalled that Sizemore Group owns a 3D printer and invited the firm to join 1st Choice Sports Rehab and others in 3D-printing face shields for doctors and nurses. Design professional Sebastian Garcia managed the efforts to mobilize the team and started cranking out the main face shield structure.

Niklaus DelFavero, 1st Choice Sports Rehab, is coordinating the creation of the masks and distribution. Emilio J. Matt, Microsoft Corp, set up a crowdsourcing page to support the efforts.

When Niklaus, whose wife is a medical doctor at Northside Hospital, realized that hospitals were lacking in protective gear, he began 3D-printing face shields with his personal 3D printer for his wife’s practice and other medical providers. But 3D-printing takes time. Niklaus needs 11 hours to print eight face masks himself. So, he reached out to organizations and members of the community with 3D printers and began a coordinated effort to 3D-print as many face masks for health care workers as possible.

Sizemore Group quickly joined this grassroots group of 3D printers and, to date, has contributed 30 face masks to the effort. Combined, this collaboration has distributed 180-200 shields to local hospitals and medical practices, including Northside Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Decatur VA Hospital, and medical clinics in Johns Creek who have temporarily converted to respiratory clinics. Currently, the group has over 1500 shield requests and are working hard to reach this goal despite limited resources of 3D printers.