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GPHS manufacturing program printing PPE for local hospitals

Pictured left to right: Jean Kinyon/Health Science, David Brannen/Manufacturing, Brenda Bunge/Manufacturing (GPHS)

Grants Pass, Ore. – Grants Pass schools may be closed, but instructors in the manufacturing program at Grants Pass High School have been busy the past few weeks helping to supply healthcare workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need.

Jean Kinyon of the Health Sciences program at GPHS says as the situation around COVID-19 started unfolding they knew there could be a need for PPE for frontline workers.

“Groups were formed, and connections were formed.” Kinyon says, “We found out who had the skill and who had the equipment to meet the need.”

The equipment and the skill were both in the manufacturing building on campus, and Brenda Bunge and David Brannen were ready to help.

For more than a week now, they've been printing shield frames using a plastic known as PLA.

The 3D designs they're using for printing were created by local engineers familiar with what’s needed at hospitals.

"We're just doing what we can to help the frontline workers," Brenda Bunge says. "In some cases, they [healthcare workers] are having to wear this equipment for 12 hours a day, so it has to be perfect."

Each frame takes about 5 hours to print. The school has three printers, so they can print about 6 frames per day. Since starting at the end of March, Bunge and Brannen have printed approximately 30 frames. The materials and labor involved, are all donated by the school, and its manufacturing program and staff.

From the school, the frames are taken to a location to be sanitized. They are then taken to a manufacturer to be assembled with a shield, and then they're given to hospitals like Asante Three Rivers Medical Center.

The high school's manufacturing department is equipped to make not only frames, but shields, manifolds, and intubation boxes. If those items are needed, they can help produce those too.

To learn more about the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Grants Pass High School click HERE.