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Parker LORD Vermont-based MicroStrain Team Provide PPE to Local Nonprofit Organization to Allow Safe In-person Support for Children

( 10/22/2020 )

The Parker LORD Noise, Vibration and Harshness Division of Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, is using a 3D printer to supply Vermont Mental Health Agency, Howard Center, with face shields. The face shields allow clinicians to communicate more effectively with children returning to school and maintain safety protocols considering the global Coronavirus pandemic. 

Howard Center is a nonprofit organization that provides children, adults, families and communities mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services. Howard Center’s School Service Program indicated the need for additional PPE items before going back to school for in-person sessions. Unlike masks, face shields allow the clinicians to convey facial expressions, which helps them communicate more effectively and support the children. Taylor Ducharme, Design Engineer at Parker LORD found open source plans for 3D printing face shield frames and oversaw the production of the 3D components as well as the procurement of the other required parts.

Incorporating feedback from Howard Center, Parker LORD ensured the face shields met all state requirements by using laser foam cutouts to fill a gap between the visor and the wearer’s forehead. After weeks of 3D printing and a few late nights of assembly, Parker LORD produced 75 of the lightweight face masks for Howard Center staff.

“Our team is innovative, active and present throughout our local communities,” says Steve Mundell, Business Unit Manager for Parker LORD. “We are proud to be a part of supporting Howard Center as they continue to provide much needed mental health, developmental and substance recovery services to our friends and neighbors during the pandemic.”

The shields were distributed to the clinicians and supervisory team of Howard Center’s School Services Program. With this donation, Howard Center was able to provide each clinician with a protective face shield that meets the PPE requirements of the Agency of Education. Whether meeting with students, faculty, staff or caregivers, the clinicians are required to wear masks or face shields. The face shields provide the clinicians with an alternative to masks.

“It feels good to contribute to the community during this time of doubt and murkiness, and it is great that our Business Manager Steve Mundell supports using company time and efforts to support the local community,” says Ducharme.

An added benefit is that the clinicians were told that if they already had a shield or did not want to wear one, they could pass the shield along to a client or caregiver who would benefit from having one, extending the value to the community.

“Going back into the school buildings this year brings such mixed emotions to many of us,” says Melissa McConnel, School Services Senior Clinician at Howard Center. “Having these face shields provides us with added protection that is truly needed and appreciated. This allows us to focus on what we all love to do most, which is to support our students and school colleagues!”

Learn more about Parker LORD's MicroStrain® sensing systems at www.microstrain.com.

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