The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to healthcare workers around the country, and companies are stepping up to help protect those on the front line. This week, medical staff in New Orleans — one of the country’s hardest hit areas — received thousands of face shields from Apple as part of a PPE drive organized by Tulane School of Medicine.
Half of the masks will be used to protect healthcare workers at Tulane Health System and the remainder will support medical staff at University Medical Center.
Tulane University President Mike Fitts said that Apple’s gift puts into action the words Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke as he addressed Tulane graduates at last year’s commencement: “Be motivated by your duty to build a better world.”
“Today, Tim Cook and Apple provided equipment critical to ensuring the safety of those treating the most vulnerable patients and also sent a message to our medical students that they have a powerful and caring partner in their efforts to improve the lives of others,” Fitts said.
“This is a tremendous gift that will help protect our hardworking caregivers, our patients, and, by extension, our families, friends and colleagues,” said Dr. Lee Hamm, dean of Tulane University School of Medicine and senior vice president. “Tulane, the hospitals our doctors work in, and the city of New Orleans are grateful to Apple for such a significant gesture.”
Students from Tulane School of Medicine’s community clinics built a regional donation hub to collect PPE and have been working around-the-clock to get the equipment into the hands of those who need it most.
“This generous donation by Apple meets a large face shield need in the city of New Orleans,” said Alex Woodbridge, a third-year medical student and president of the Student Clinic Council. “While our curve may be flattening and we continue to get more PPE to our frontline providers each day, the demand remains very high in our hospitals and a donation this size will help keep our nurses, resident physicians and attending physicians safe.”
Apple recently announced a company-wide effort bringing together product designers, engineering, operations and packaging teams to design, produce and ship face shields to healthcare workers treating COVID-positive patients.