Helping our Community

GAES Media Specialist Makes Face Shields for Medical Staff
Posted on 04/14/2020
Lee Ann Smith with face shield donationsBy Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

While last week’s Spring Break gave families and teachers some much-needed time off, many BCS employees continued to expand our COVID-19 response.

Glen Arden Elementary School Media Specialist Lee Ann Smith and colleagues spent the last week-and-a-half assembling protective face shields, using custom frames that Ms. Smith made at home with two BCS 3D printers.

“When all this started to happen, I realized that there are a lot people who are putting their lives on the line to help sick people, and I remember thinking ‘it would be great if there was something I could do to help,’” Ms. Smith said. “One of the things that really warms my heart is how people are looking out for each other, from people giving away free coffee to those who are sewing to people who are getting groceries for others. It shows our compassion.”

On Monday, she loaded up a box with more than 70 face shields and delivered them to a nonprofit, local palliative and hospice care provider Four Seasons. The timing was crucial, as a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) added to the anxiety among medical care providers and families of the seriously ill.

“Our clinical teams provide care in patients’ private homes and local nursing facilities,” said Four Seasons Community Relations and Marketing Director Callie Davis. “Many of these patients have medical conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the health and safety of our care team members is our highest priority. The only way to ensure their safety is through the proper PPE. Because our nurses and CNAs visit multiple patients each day, they must carry enough PPE in their cars to doff and don between each visit. We are so grateful to everyone in our community who has made and donated face masks and shields to this cause. We literally could not do our work without you.”

Four Seasons Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janet Bull also thanked Ms. Smith and the other BCS staff for helping stave off a PPE shortage at her facility during the pandemic.

“Knowing the community is behind us helping to fulfill this need has been a tremendous boost to morale,” she said. “At Four Seasons, we strive to give the highest quality patient and family care. The protection equally serves to protect those we serve. We are so grateful to the efforts of BCS who jumped into making masks with their 3D printers, spending hundreds of volunteer hours to make this a top priority.”

The Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center continues to distribute PPE and other supplies to medical facilities as needed. Please contact eoc@buncombecounty.org for more information.

3d printed mask extender