Hospitals across the country are experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment, and Northern Arizona Healthcare is among them.
On Thursday, April 23, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Flagstaff Medical Center received a special delivery from U.S. Sen. Martha McSally [R-Ariz.]
McSally met with members of the media and the hospital’s senior leadership team and gave FMC new boxes of personal protective equipment.
This PPE included 3-D printed face shields donated by Arizona State University which can be disinfected and re-used, thereby reducing the need for disposable N-95 masks. In addition, Barrow Neurological Institute designed and donated 100 N-95 substitute masks designed to last for three months.
The senator addressed ways in which crisis situations have historically fueled creativity, forged partnerships and dismantled resistance to change.
“We’re seeing production ramping up,” she said, “and we need to make sure we bring production home. We want to find ways to encourage American innovation and American jobs in order to support America in a time of crisis. Here in Arizona, we have people putting innovation and ideas together to create a 3-D printing design...a game-changer that could take N-95s off the table.”
McSally also spoke about legislation to financially support small businesses and rural hospitals, which have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shared ideas about increased testing; funding for vaccination trials; and antibody tests.
“The challenge we have with this virus is that just because you (tested negative) on Monday, that doesn’t mean you won’t be positive on Tuesday,” she said. “We need to protect the vulnerable and those who serve them...we are relying on selflessness and grace and good faith.
“We’re all with you, and we are so proud of you.”